As a regional leader of life science innovation in the U.K., the city of Leeds abounds in development and innovation potential for the healthcare sector. When considering how best to grow clinical trial operations for 2022 and beyond, Labcorp Drug Development sought to leverage existing location advantages with new opportunities to enhance clinical trial experiences for volunteers and biopharmaceutical companies alike.
“The number of innovative experimental medicines is growing rapidly, and we need more square footage and clinic beds to test these potential next-generation therapies in a timely manner,” explained Dave Simpson, VP of global clinical trials and European operations lead. “We have enjoyed a successful history with the city of Leeds, both in terms of our investments in staffing and development alongside the ongoing expansion of our extensive database of volunteers.”
With these considerations in mind, the team began investments in the revitalization of Leeds last year. Instead of building a new space to accommodate expanded clinical pharmacology services, a landmark building from the 1950s is being refurbished and brought up to code. This decision has significant sustainability advantages, conserving environmental resources and drastically cutting down on potential waste and carbon emissions.
Key clinical benefits
The new clinical research unit is now in the fit out stage of development. It will not only consolidate existing clinical operations in Leeds into one fit-for-purpose facility but will also provide key benefits to clinical specialists, volunteers and the local community at large, including:
- Increased cGMP pharmacy space, with two sterile and two nonsterile prep rooms available
- More than 30% increase in clinic bed capacity
- Consolidated space for increased efficiency, decision-making and collaboration
- Convenient location near public transportation to facilitate easy volunteer and colleague access
- New rooftop garden space to encourage employee and volunteer well-being and engagement
Additionally, the new site brings new opportunity for economic growth in the community, bolstering the local supply chain and supporting development of next-generation medicines.
“We always try to support local,” said Simpson, “and it is especially gratifying when doing so makes the most sense on value and quality, as it does with our expanded Leeds location.”
The clinical research unit is expected to reach completion by early 2023. Several innovations and sustainability features are currently being added to its base build, ensuring a Very Good BREEAM certification rating and ultimately helping to maximize the efficiency and quality of early phase clinical trials.