MDC Seeks Buyer for Alderley Park Lighthouse Laboratory

Medicines Discovery Catapult (MDC) today (8 July 2021) announces its intention to sustain its Alderley Park Lighthouse Laboratory Diagnostics Testing facility (“AP Lighthouse Laboratory”) through new private sector ownership.

The AP Lighthouse Laboratory was built in March 2020 by MDC as part of the establishment by the NHS and Department of Health & Social Care of the national Lighthouse Laboratory network.  This network has now tested over 65 million PCR samples and remains at the core of the UK’s PCR testing capacity.

The AP Lighthouse Laboratory has over 700 experienced employees and an established leadership team, working 24/7 to provide capacity of up to 80,000 PCR tests per day based in the Alderley Park science and innovation centre in Cheshire.  It is a high-functioning diagnostics laboratory that has been recommended by UKAS for ISO-accreditation (15189) that represents a unique opportunity for healthcare growth funds or existing diagnostics players.

To secure a legacy for the AP Lighthouse Laboratory the MDC seeks a private sector buyer who shall continue to support its public sector testing role during the COVID-19 pandemic and transition the lab into a post-pandemic supplier of a portfolio of high value, mass diagnostics to both public and private sector customers. This progressive step will also establish an industrial legacy for this important asset, and will be key to retaining long term skills and jobs in this critical sector.

MDC will run a structured process over the summer to achieve this sale and have engaged Bamburgh Capital to act on its behalf.

Dr Robin Brown, Chairman of the Medicines Discovery Catapult said

“MDC stepped up on day 1 to co-ordinate the Lighthouse programme and supports their ongoing role in serving the public need. Our strategic sale of the lab has a clear intent: to sustain the capacity that has been built and enable the MDC to return to its core not-for-profit purpose – to reshape UK drug discovery”.

MDC is a not-for-profit organisation that drives the industrialisation of tools and technologies that help discover new medicines.  Proceeds of the sale will therefore be used to serve the UK medicines discovery R&D community – a pillar of the UK’s world-leading Life Science strategy.

Interested parties should contact by 5pm BST 15th July 2021.

This announcement sets out the MDC’s current intention to explore a sale, does not constitute an offer and any future transaction will be subject to contract.  MDC reserves the right to alter or terminate the process, reject any approach or terminate discussions with any interested party at any time.