27 July 2020
- Angela Kearns, Stephen Reese, Gareth Camp, Mark Poulton, Leigh Smith, Edwin Wong, Rob Donell, Marianne Toghill, Ashleigh Hayman, Andrew Dean, James Shepherd
Clifford Chance advises HM Government on its £100 million investment to scale up Covid-19 vaccine and gene therapy manufacturing capability in the UK
International law firm Clifford Chance has advised Her Majesty's Government on its additional £100 million investment to ensure that any successful Covid-19 vaccine can be produced at scale in the UK. The deal, signed on 23 July 2020, funds the acquisition and upgrade of an existing facility located in Braintree, Essex, UK to create a state-of-the-art Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult Manufacturing Innovation Centre in order to accelerate the mass production of a successful Covid-19 vaccine in the UK.
As well as providing further support to the UK cell and gene therapy industry, the transaction represents a substantial boost to the UK's capability to manufacture vaccines by establishing a new centre and skills vital for the UK’s ability respond to diseases like COVID-19 and potential future pandemics. Due to open in December 2021, the new centre will have the capacity to produce millions of doses each month, ensuring the UK has the capabilities to manufacture vaccines and advanced medicines, including for emerging diseases, far into the future. The UK Government also expects the centre to create new, high-skilled jobs to fuel the UK’s economic recovery. Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will work closely with the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult to ensure the successful delivery of the centre.
The Clifford Chance team was led by partners Angela Kearns (Real Estate), Stephen Reese (Life Sciences), Gareth Camp and Mark Poulton (Corporate), with senior associate Leigh Smith (advising on the arrangements for the investment), associate Edwin Wong (advising on the acquisition of the existing facility and related business), senior associate Rob Donell (advising on real estate), Head of UK Real Estate Construction Marianne Toghill and associate Ashleigh Hayman (advising on Construction), senior associate James Shepherd (advising on environmental issues) and Andrew Dean (Director of Public Law) on administrative and public law aspects.
Commenting on the transaction, Angela said "we are very pleased to have supported HM Government on this strategically significant project, particularly in light of the valuable contribution that this transaction will make to the UK's vaccine manufacturing capability during these challenging times". The deal reinforces Clifford Chance's credentials both in life sciences and in advising the UK government and public sector on complex, innovative and strategically important projects. It follows advising Network Rail on one of the UK's largest ever and most complex land transactions when it sold its commercial estates business and advising the Official Receiver (part of the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy) and Special Managers appointed to support the Official Receiver on the liquidation of British Steel and related matters.