Blackstone’s BioMed Realty to double UK life sciences portfolio

The Blackstone portfolio company, BioMed Realty, has announced plans to double its life sciences holdings in the UK through two strategic deals in Cambridge.

BioMed has secured the 15-acre Cambridge International Technology Park (CITP) and a 27-acre plot at Granta Park in Cambridge, where it plans to deliver some 800,000 ft2 of Grade A purpose-built lab and office space with an £850 mln investment.

Blackstone said that the acquisitions underlined its faith in the UK and the success of BioMed’s current 870,000 ft2 UK portfolio, which is currently 100% fully leased.

James Seppala, head of real estate in Europe at Blackstone, said: 'Life sciences remains one of Blackstone’s highest conviction investment themes. Together with BioMed Realty, we are committed to growing this area of investment for the long-term and providing the high-quality space that is needed to bring life-saving products and therapies to market and ensure the UK’s future success as a global leader in vaccine and drug development.'

CITP was acquired from Abstract, while the 27-acre land plot at Granta Park was purchased from The Welding Institute (TWI). The proposed two new sites are still subject to planning consent.

As the largest life sciences market in the UK, Cambridge − the birthplace of stem cell research and artificial intelligence − is seen as an epicentre of research and innovation and is home to more labs than anywhere else in the UK.

Prime minister Boris Johnson said: 'This investment is hugely welcome news for Cambridge and the UK as a whole. The city was home to some of the country’s greatest scientific discoveries and I’m confident that the support of Blackstone’s BioMed Realty will mean there are many more to come.'

Latest survey data shows all of Cambridge’s available lab space is currently under offer, potentially locking out promising start-ups from the market and slowing the growth of life sciences companies in the UK.

BioMed’s two new sites would meet the growing demand for space among technology, science and knowledge-based companies to create vaccines, develop new treatments and help respond to major global health challenges.

Bill Kane, president, East Coast & UK Market at BioMed Realty, said: 'State-of-the-art life science facilities are a critical component to the speed at which scientific research is accelerating. BioMed is proud to meet the needs of this truly dynamic industry, helping companies to incubate, scale up and grow.

'These new developments at CITP and Granta Park will provide much needed life science space for existing and new companies, further advancing Cambridge as a global home for research while supporting the local economy.'

BioMed entered the Cambridge, UK market in 2012 and has expanded to become the largest private owner of life science space in Cambridge. During this time, BioMed has created a vibrant life science ecosystem to support growth and opportunities for all stages of life science companies.

BioMed’s Babraham Research Campus and Granta Park currently provide incubator space, scale up space for growth, and headquarter space to established enterprises such as Illumina, Gilead, AstraZeneca and Pfizer. The acquisitions of these two new development sites provides additional opportunities for companies to grow within BioMed’s portfolio and stay in the region.


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