Harrogate International Advisory has successfully welcomed its US client Pierian Biosciences into Liverpool with the opening of Pierian’s first laboratory in the United Kingdom. It will be based within the highly prestigious Liverpool Science Park. The US-based Pharma company has also successfully received investment form the Inward Investment Facilitation Fund (I2F2), which was set up as part of the £75m Business Growth Package introduced by Steve Rotherham, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region.
Based in Nashville, Tennessee, USA, Pierian Biosciences is a diagnostic development and laboratory service organisation. The company has invested $42m into the development of this project, which will be taken through to commercialisation with a further £25m of investment. Pierian aims to deliver the most innovative, treatment-directing testing possible while providing analytical approaches that lead the way for personalised medicine and translational science. The organisation specifically focuses on personalised cancer intelligence by offering guidance for healthcare providers to offer a personal treatment for patients suffering from cancer and auto-immune diseases.
Pierian Biosciences’ decision to open a permanent laboratory within the United Kingdom has been several years in the making. As the organisation seeks to expand its work towards helping patients and informing medical professionals around the world, the board of directors determined that it would be most valuable to have a permanent laboratory base within the European continent and chose Liverpool as its base. The United Kingdom was chosen based on Pierian Biosciences having clearer communication with key opinion leaders from the medical field within Great Britain, as well as the increased opportunities for access to the wealth of scientific research facilities that the UK offers.
The city of Liverpool in particular serves as a central hub for national health studies, with the local medical facilities being prevalent towards research and testing for a wide variety of conditions, treatments, and illnesses, which includes cancer treatment. Based on the work that Pierian Biosciences delivers, Liverpool was an appropriate choice for the company’s new UK laboratory given the wealth of top-level cancer research that the city provides. In addition, the city has numerous central locations that focus primarily on cancer treatment and cancer research. These include the Liverpool Cancer Research Institute, the world-class Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, Liverpool University Biobank (LUB), Cancer Research UK’s Cancer Trial Units, and the Royal Liverpool University Hospital.
Robert Henry, President and Chief Executive Officer of Pierian Biosciences, commented: “We’re delighted to bring our work to the city of Liverpool. Right now, we have two assays that we are developing right here in the UK, and we will provide further information once they receive full approval.
“It makes perfect sense for us to come to Liverpool. The opportunity to gain access to tissue samples of cancerous tumours is far greater in the UK and Europe right now than in the United States. And Liverpool Science Park’s laboratory facilities are of the highest possible standard for the work that we carry out. We have been overwhelmed by the offers of collaboration by local academics and oncology specialists. And we look forward to working alongside some of the world-class facilities that Liverpool has to offer in the realms of Life Sciences to continue this game-changing project.”
Norman Purvis, Chief Scientific Officer, Head of Research and Development at Pierian Biosciences, will be moving to the UK to manage the Liverpool laboratory on a permanent basis. The opening of the Liverpool laboratory will also create new employment opportunities as the UK team expands.
The inward investment project of Pierian was mandated to Harrogate International Advisors. Sue Wright, managing director at Harrogate, commented: “We started working on this project in 2021. Tony Reeves, the then-CEO of Liverpool City Council, gave the project huge support to ensure with us that it landed into Liverpool. The collaboration from local academics, professors of oncology, city council stakeholders and Colin Sinclair of the Knowledge Quarter has been exceptional. This really shows that we can successfully bring Big Pharma to Liverpool.”
To mark the occasion of Pierian Biosciences’ expansion into the UK, the company held a prestigious dinner at LuBan Restaurant Liverpool. It was attended by numerous key businesspeople from the organisation and within the city of Liverpool. Attendees included Robert Henry, President and CEO of Pierian Biosciences; Joanne Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool; and Mark Bourgeois, Interim City Development Director of Liverpool City Council and Sue Wright and Faisal Arif of Harrogate International Advisors. In addition, eight key oncologists and other leading figures from Liverpool City Region were in attendance.