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MEPC has signed a deal with Adaptimmune Therapeutics plc (“Adaptimmune” NASDAQ:ADAP), to expand its global headquarters at Milton Park in Oxfordshire.  The agreed pre-let will see Adaptimmune lease a major new purpose built laboratory and office building totalling 67,000 sq ft at Park Drive Central.

Park Drive Central totals 9.47 acres and is the next phase in MEPC’s ambitious development plans on a site earmarked for redevelopment, and which is part of the Science Vale UK Enterprise Zone.  Adaptimmune’s new laboratory and office building is the first pre-let to be announced and will be one of four state of the art buildings at Park Drive Central. 

Adaptimmune, which is at the forefront of global interest in using the body’s own immune system to fight cancer, was established at Milton Park in 2008.  Adaptimmune has grown to over 150 staff in the UK and US, and completed a successful IPO on NASDAQ in May.  The company is focused on novel cancer immunotherapy products and the agreed pre-let will enable Adaptimmune to expand its R&D team from its current facility at 91 Park Drive into the new building at Park Drive Central.

Planning permission for the new building was approved through the fast track Local Development Order process.  Construction has commenced following a traditional groundbreaking ceremony, with completion due in late 2016.

James Noble, chief executive officer, Adaptimmune said:  “We are delighted to be working closely with MEPC on this exciting new building, which will provide best-in-class laboratories to support the expansion of our R&D team and enable continuing progress with our research programs. 

“We started up Adaptimmune as three people on Milton Park in 2008 to research into engineered T-cell receptors to fight cancer, and we now have over 150 staff from across the world working out of our UK and US facilities.  They are contributing substantial scientific, development and corporate expertise to progress our preclinical and clinical programs and accelerate the development of our internal pipeline.  All share a common aim of wanting to bring breakthrough treatments to cancer patients.”

James Dipple, chief executive officer, MEPC Milton Park said:  “This is great news for both Adaptimmune and the continuing development of Oxfordshire’s thriving biotech industry and economy.  Adaptimmune was established at Milton Park in 2008 in a small laboratory, and we have watched this pioneering company expand into a globally recognised business. We are delighted that we are able to accommodate their growth plans by building a bespoke, state of the art new building.

“We continue with our ambitious development plans so that we can retain and attract the many companies that choose to be part of Milton Park’s thriving community.  The speculative development at 101 & 102 Park Drive which totals 55,000 sq ft is now fully let, and today’s announcement of Adaptimmune’s expansion at Park Drive Central illustrates the level of demand from companies already on Milton Park and further afield who wish to expand.  We are working hard to meet their needs.”

MEPC negotiated the deal directly with the occupier.  The lease has been agreed for 25 years, and the rent is undisclosed. Nicholas Hare is the architect for the Park Drive Central scheme.

breaking ground at adaptimmune