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News archive - July 2016

Cancer hub to put London on global map

Cancer hub to put London on global map

Plans have been unveiled for the new London Cancer Hub, which will provide a global centre for cancer innovation.

A new global hub for excellence in cancer research and treatment is being earmarked for Sutton, south London.

The facility, currently at the feasibility stage, would be developed to accelerate the discovery of new treatments and could create more than 13,000 new jobs.

Bringing together 10,000 scientists, clinical and support staff, it will be a hotbed of talent, offering research and development space for biotech, pharma and software companies and medtech equipment manufacturers. It will also deliver at least two new cancer drugs every five years.

The project marks a partnership between The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), London, and the London Borough of Sutton, with the support of The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, the Greater London Authority, and Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust.

If built, it will form one of three life science districts within the capital, alongside the White City Campus and the Euston Corridor. It will also be an important component of the London-Oxford-Cambridge ‘golden triangle’ of life-science research.

A spokesman for the project said: “Many of the newer targeted treatments have proved highly effective at first, only for cancers to then develop resistance against them. So there is an urgent need to discover and develop a new generation of cancer treatments, which can not only target specific molecular features of tumours, but do so in a way that anticipates and overcomes their propensity to evolve drug resistance.

“The ICR and the London Borough of Sutton together have a unique opportunity to create a truly-world-class cancer research district that will deliver benefits for cancer patients and the UK economy.”

The development is being designed by a team made up of lead architects and masterplanners, Nordic and Haptic; real estate consultant, JLL; and engineering consultant, WSP.

Under the plans, the current site will be remodelled to create a green campus of research and enterprise buildings and hospital facilities. It will be designed as a living community with a school, leisure space, and hotels for visitors and patients.

Central to the design of the site will be a green spine running through its heart, knitting the buildings together and making the space easily navigable for staff and visitors. Around this spine, the development will begin to establish a regular urban grid, making the site easy to navigate, but also enabling the development to proceed one block at a time without disrupting existing research or patient care.

Once complete – the work is expected to take 20 years in total - the redevelopment will provide more than 265,000sq m of buildings.

In the next three years, the ICR will develop new drug discovery facilities and incubator space for biotech and pharmaceutical companies. They will also build the green spine, parking facilities and an energy plant, as well as a school and leisure facilities.

Within six years, two public squares will be created and the London Cancer Hub Knowledge Centre will be established. Further life science buildings will also be created and the Royal Marsden will expand ambulatory care facilities.

From around 2028 new business developments will open, together with amenity space and relaxation and leisure facilities. The scheme will end with the creation of a tram network and additional life science buildings.

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