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Relief for drug development firm after new lab location in Wilton is found.

A DRUG development and manufacturing company at the end of its lease at the former ICI site in Billingham has found a new lab on Teesside.

Staff working for the biocatalysis division of Piramal Healthcare had feared they might have to move out of Teesside after more than 20 years, but has just found a new 1,000sqft lab site alongside offices and storage space at Wilton, near Redcar.

Robert Holt, director of Biocatalysis, said the alternative had been to take a free-standing unit on a science park, but which would have been nowhere near as attractive as The Wilton Centre.

"The Wilton Centre provides a professional looking environment in keeping with our industry''s needs, he added.

Having access to services such as waste-handling, safety infrastructure, library facilities, meeting rooms, restaurant and conferencing facilities is all highly advantageous.

Being close to CPI''s National Industrial Biotechnology Facility (NIBF) which is also based at The Wilton Centre - is a nice bonus as there is likely to be considerable synergy between what we both do.

Piramal Healthcare is an integrated pharmaceutical company involved in drug discovery, drug development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceutical products.

Its biocatalysis division originated in ICI Billingham as part of its pharmaceutical activities but, as the company fragmented, the division has evolved through Zeneca and Avecia before being bought from Avecia by Piramal Healthcare in 2005.

The transfer of the biocatalysis division from Avecia to Piramal Healthcare was smoothed by an agreement that permitted them to remain in the Billingham laboratories for two years but it was the termination of that agreement that prompted the search for new premises.

This specialist technology group, which is involved in the development of novel, cost-effective ways to synthesise pharmaceuticals based on the application of enzymes.

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ON THE MOVE Robert Holt.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Nov 26, 2009
Words:300
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