The bio-pharmaceutical company, AstraZeneca, has marked a key milestone in its successful move to Cambridge, UK, with the ‘topping out’ of its new state-of-the-art strategic R&D centre.
The ‘topping out’ milestone represents the completion of the new facility’s concrete frame and the focus is now directed at stalling the roof, external glass cladding and starting the internal fit out.
The new centre, which will also be the company’s global headquarters, currently already has 2,000 employees actively engaged in the stages of development, with more expected leading up to the opening day in 2018.
The new strategic R&D site will become AstraZeneca’s largest centre globally for oncology research, as well as housing scientists focused on respiratory, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.
The R&D facility has been co-designed by the company’s scientists and world-leading architects, Herzog and de Meuron. The open plan architecture, reflecting AstraZenecas’s collaborative approach, has been designed with open laboratories and transparent glass walls, which enables ways of working across disciplines with external partners, whilst a central and open to the public courtyard will put science on complete display.
One of the many projects to be carried out at the new R&D centre will consist of drug discovery scientists working alongside Microsoft to use a cloud-based simulation that brings alive the millions of potential changes that make cancer cells multiply uncontrollably. This research will aim to better understand the disease.
Pascal Soriot, CEO of AstraZeneca, says the new global HQ and strategic R&D centre will advance a world-class environment where science can thrive.
The new site will bring AstraZeneca scientists together with those from its global biologics R&D arm, MedImmune, working side-by-side under one roof. Vice-president, Mene Pangalos, believes that this is the best way of meeting today’s scientific challenges – to work in an open, transparent and collaborative way with the world’s best scientists.
The world-class R&D healthcare facility has created hundreds of local jobs, work for the supply chain in the region and will continue to bring numerous economic benefits to Cambridge.
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