On Thursday 4 July Dr. Fiona Marshall, Global Head of Neuroscience Discovery, MSD visited Newcastle to mark the official launch of The Biosphere.

Located at Newcastle Helix, The Biosphere is a specialist lab facility tailored to commercialisation of life sciences. It provides biology and chemistry laboratories and high-quality office space.

Dr. Fiona Marshall was joined by Cllr Ged Bell, Cabinet Member for Employment and Investment and Pat Ritchie, Chief Executive, Newcastle City Council who used this opportunity to bring the sector together and thank everyone who has been involved in the project to date.

Held at The Biosphere, this event was attended by key figureheads from the business community, academics, funders and other key stakeholders from across the region.

MSD is one of the top biopharmaceutical companies in the world. Dr. Fiona Marshall joined them as Vice President Head of Discovery Research UK and has since taken on the role of Global Head of Neuroscience Discovery.

Dr. Fiona Marshall said: “I would like to congratulate Newcastle City Council on their vision of creating a new bio tech cluster, helping to attract new investment and facilitate new innovations that have the potential to impact people right across the world.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Newcastle for making me feel so welcome. It was a pleasure to officially open The Biosphere, a building that will play a vital role in the growth of the life science sector. The spirit of innovation is really alive in Newcastle and there is so much support to help companies to develop and grow. The range and quality of the science happening in the Biosphere is remarkable and I have no doubt that more and more academics and entrepreneurs will choose Newcastle as a base to commercialise their products and new discoveries.”

Cllr Ged Bell, Cabinet Member for Employment and Investment, Newcastle City Council added: “This event provided an opportunity to celebrate the story so far and showcase this specialist facility locally, nationally and internationally. The Biosphere was a significant investment for the local economy and marked a clear commitment to life sciences growth. So much has been achieved since 2015, the design, construction and operation of a new lab facility that is now home to 10 dynamic life science businesses with global life-changing ambitions. We now have the right infrastructure that will allow new and growing life science businesses to thrive, and as this happens it will bring more opportunities and jobs to the local area in this emerging and exciting new sector. This coupled with the innovative community on Newcastle Helix will help accelerate growth, entrepreneurial activity and the commercialisation of ideas within life sciences. I would like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to everyone involved.”