STAFF at a pioneering biopharmaceutical company will be given a head start in their training to manufacture life-saving and life-enhancing medicines and vaccines.

Teesside University’s National Horizons Centre (NHC) has teamed up with Cumbria-based Lakes BioScience to train its staff using technology similar to the machines at its base in Cumbria.

The NHC, based in Darlington, will soon be equipped with equivalent machinery, and staff from Lakes BioScience will visit the education centre to get hands-on practical experience of using the complex systems to ensure the future workforce is trained in manufacturing world-first pharmaceuticals at the earliest opportunity.

The Northern Echo: Dr Jen Vanderhoven, National Horizons CentreDr Jen Vanderhoven, National Horizons Centre

NHC Director Jen Vanderhoven said: “This partnership is about developing a new workforce and getting the Lakes BioScience team, which needs to operate this new equipment, trained appropriately so they are ready to roll when the factory opens.

“What the Covid-19 pandemic has shown us is that we really need a skilled workforce to manufacture these life-saving medicines and vaccines.

“You can build as many buildings as you want and put all the fancy equipment in, but that won’t make any difference unless you have people who can work it in a safe and efficient manner.”

Working in collaboration with Lakes BioScience and global life sciences leader Cytiva, NHC is helping to develop world first treatments to be used across the globe.

Dr Vanderhoven added: “We are at the forefront of training those people manufacturing these life-changing pharmaceuticals and doing a lot of research to drive down the cost of treatments.

“It’s about manufacturing life-saving vaccines and medicines faster and making them more affordable.”

The advanced training methods will ensure the North of England is a hotbed for bioscience technology, and will boost the UK’s biopharmaceutical production.

The Northern Echo: Training at National Horizons CentreTraining at National Horizons Centre

Pat McIver, a director at Lakes BioScience, said: “We believe that by working with NHC and other companies within the sector we can grow and develop the high capabilities of the industry that exist within the North of England.

“This is an exciting opportunity for the North of England to lead the way in biopharmaceutical manufacturing.”

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