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POSTED ON: 11 July 2022
A showcase session at the UKREiiF – the UK’s Real Estate Investment and Infrastructure Forum – provided details about the exciting investment opportunity of expansion at The London Cancer Hub.

The London Cancer Hub is Europe’s leading oncology district and is a world class partnership between The Institute of Cancer Research, London, and The London Borough of Sutton, supported by The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust. Expanding the London Cancer Hub will enhance the ICR’s ability to discover innovative new cancer treatments and partner with industry to take new treatments to patients.

Michael Aston, Partner & Head of Life Sciences, Cushman & Wakefield, chaired the session at the event, which was held recently in Leeds. Highlighting the urgent need for commercial space within the UK life sciences ecosystem, he explained why The London Cancer Hub offers an exciting opportunity for investors.

“The existing campus in leafy Sutton already has the critical foundations for translational medicine: academic infrastructure, the research, the education, and also the clinical infrastructure,” he said. “The ICR and the Royal Marsden are ranked in the top four centres globally for cancer research and treatment.” 

Michael went on to highlight why location is critical to the success of life sciences research sites. “You have to go where the innovation and talent is – and there are only certain locations you can do that,” he advised. “The London Cancer Hub is a prime site – and it’s in London, which is a hot spot.”

He then shared how The London Cancer Hub had already taken the first step by establishing the Innovation Gateway, which opened in early 2022. It offers high-quality laboratory, office and collaboration space lab and office spaces for early-stage life sciences companies on flexible terms, nurturing the pipeline for future demand for space at the wider campus.

Cancer Research Excellence

Professor Udai Banerji, Deputy Director of Drug Development at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, and The Royal Marsden, was next to speak. He outlined the ICR’s world-class excellence in cancer research, the ICR’s multidisciplinary approach to research – and the importance of industrial partnership to drive innovation from bench to bedside. He provided a compelling example of a success story of this approach with capivasterib, a new cancer drug that is currently in three major phase III clinical trials as a treatment for advanced breast and prostate cancers.

“ICR biologists first revealed the crystal structure of a key cancer protein, leading to collaborative work by the ICR and partners Astex Pharmaceuticals and AstraZeneca to discover and develop the drug,” he said.

Dr Diana Beech, Chief Executive Officer of London Higher, then gave an overview of how The London Cancer Hub fits into the wider research and higher education landscape in the city. “Although The London Cancer Hub is just one piece in the very complex London tapestry of research and knowledge exchange, there are many opportunities and facilities and resources and potential for partnership, which I think will allow this project to flourish and bring benefits to London, to the nation, and to the world,” she said.

Beyond traditional real estate

Finally, Claudia Tripp, Commercial Asset Manager UK&I at Kadans Science Partner – the largest developer and operator of life sciences space in Europe, discussed why the success of commercial research sites goes beyond traditional real estate. She described the four elements they look for in a site: 1) people – the ability to attract, encourage and invest in talent 2) funding 3) an extensive network of professional services and 4) space.
“You need to create an ecosystem for life science to thrive – where companies can come together, these partnerships can form,” she said. “What’s exciting with the scheme in Sutton is that they already have these pillars in place that will really help it to thrive and do really well.”

Find out more

The London Borough of Sutton is in the process of seeking a commercial/investment partner to develop the Council's land ownership and further progress the world leading life science work at the London Cancer Hub.

Please contact Michael Aston at Cushman & Wakefield for enquiries at [email protected] or on 020 7152 5882.
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