AstraZeneca opens research center while UK builds science center

AstraZeneca opens research center while UK builds science center

London Prince Charles hailed Cambridge as a center for scientific collaboration on Tuesday as drugmaker AstraZeneca opened a £1 billion ($1.34 billion) research center, hoping to build on work on developing one of the first COVID-19 vaccines.

The 19,000 square meter (over 200,000 square foot) complex near the University of Cambridge will house more than 2,200 research scientists. He joins a group of companies seeking to make Cambridge a center for life sciences research similar to what California’s Silicon Valley represents for the tech industry.

“Having studied in Cambridge…for more than 50 years now, one of the things I have always found so special about this city is how it attracts the meeting of minds, sparks unique multidisciplinary conversations and nurtures collaboration and ingenuity,” Charles said in the official opening.

The Cambridge Life Sciences group includes 631 companies that employ nearly 21,000 people and generate annual revenue of £7 billion, according to Cambridge Ahead, which promotes business development in the city.

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AstraZeneca has worked with Oxford University to develop one of the first COVID-19 vaccines approved by regulators in the UK, EU and other countries. The vaccine is widely used in dozens of developing countries because AstraZeneca has pledged to cut costs by selling it to low- and middle-income countries on a non-profit basis.

AstraZeneca also plans to ask the US Food and Drug Administration to approve the vaccine.

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