A leading firm tracking infectious diseases, hVIVO, has announced plans to open a new clinical trial facility in Canary Wharf, marking another landmark in the district’s attempt to grow a life sciences hub by the Docklands.
The London-listed firm previously known as Open Oprhen said the new site is set to be completed in the first quarter of next year and fully operational by the second quarter.
As part of the move, two of its current sites in Whitechapel and Queen Mary Bioenterprises Centre (QMB) will close in 2024 but will remain fully operational while the transition is taking place.
The company said its new facility, which will sit across two floors, will initially house 50 quarantine beds and advanced laboratories, an outpatient unit, and corporate offices.
There are plans to add an extra 20 beds in the future.
“The new facility will also allow us to conduct a greater number of trials concurrently across various challenge models enabling the company to maintain a higher level of capacity throughout the year,” Yamin ‘Mo’ Khan, chief executive of hVIVO, said in a statement to markets this morning.
It comes as demand for life sciences facilities in London have heated up in recent years.
Earlier this year, Canary Wharf Group and Kadans Science Partner were granted planning permission for a new 23-storey life sciences building in the East London area.
According to the pair, The 823,000 sq ft tower, which is located adjacent to the Crossrail Station and Elizabeth Line at Canary Wharf, London, will be Europe’s largest and most “technologically advanced” life sciences facility.
Canary Wharf is moving into what its CEO Shobi Khan calls its ‘3.0 phase’ as it targets a growing diversity of uses.
Residential towers are increasingly almost fully occupied and new industries including life sciences are complementing the financial services businesses that have made the Wharf famous.