Blackstone’s BioMed Realty makes big lab space play in Cambridge, UK

Blackstone portfolio company BioMed Realty is investing an estimated £850 million ($1.16 billion) to purchase two properties in Cambridge, UK, and develop about 800,000 square feet of lab space.

Biomed is purchasing the 15-acre Cambridge International Technology Park from Abstract Securities, as well as a 27-acre land plot at Granta Park from The Welding Institute. The proposed new sites are still subject to planning consent, and if approved would double BioMed’s current life sciences real estate in Cambridge and support the creation of up to 2,700 new jobs.

BioMed entered the Cambridge market in 2012 and has since become the area’s largest private owner of life science space. The firm’s existing holdings at Babraham Research Campus and Granta Park itself already provide incubator space, scale-up space for growth and headquarter space to 22 companies, including major drugmakers such as Pfizer, Gilead and AstraZeneca.

“This investment is hugely welcome news for Cambridge and the UK as a whole.”

Prime minister boris johnson

The life sciences sector is a crucial part of the UK economy, supporting 250,000 jobs and contributing over £80 billion to GDP annually. Cambridge, home to the world’s fourth-oldest surviving university and the birthplace of cutting-edge technologies including artificial intelligence and stem cell research, has more labs than anywhere else in the UK — but according to Biomed, latest survey data shows all of the area’s lab space is currently under offer, potentially closing doors to startups as well as established companies in this dynamic market.

“This investment is hugely welcome news for Cambridge and the UK as a whole,” said Prime Minister Boris Johnson. “The jobs created by this investment are exactly the kind we want to see more of in the UK – high-skilled and future-facing, reflecting what the UK does best.”

Bill Kane, East Coast & UK Market president at BioMed Realty, said the planned new developments “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.”

James Seppala, head of Real Estate in Europe at Blackstone, added, “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.”

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