Discovery Park, the Life Sciences Opportunity Zone for ambitious and growing life sciences companies, is pleased to welcome contract research organisation Transpharmation Ltd as a new tenant.

Its new facility will be Transpharmation’s largest laboratory. The company, which is focused on neuroscience research, has over 100 clients worldwide. Mayer Schreiber, CEO of Discovery Park, said, ‘We are delighted that Transpharmation has chosen to expand its scientific research services by establishing a new facility here. It is a very valuable addition to the thriving life sciences community at Discovery Park.’

Transpharmation was founded in 2010 by scientists Dr Neil Upton and Dr Mark Duxon, the team has contributed significantly to UK and world-wide understanding of a range of health conditions.

Now the company is opening its largest laboratory at Discovery Park in Kent, working alongside and providing scientific research services to other organisations and academic institutes in the UK and across the world. As well as an established specialist team of scientists relocating to Kent, Transpharmation is also creating multiple new positions at Discovery Park.

“Human health and science have always been the driver behind Transpharmation and remains at the heart of everything that we do, whether that’s direct research into debilitating conditions or helping new scientists forge a research career,” said Chief Scientific Officer Dr Upton, a Fellow of the British Pharmacological Society with more than 30 years’ experience in neuroscience.

“While our early days were focussed on research into cognition and pain, our team is now also looking at other areas – for example, the relationship between Covid-19 and inflammation or using brain electrical activity to look at signatures in other diseases. Our particular focus is on looking at how experiments in the lab translate to human health in the clinical setting – a term referred to as ‘translational biology’.”

Transpharmation is a contract research organisation – partnering with other laboratories to provide research experiments and data to show how medical drugs or components interact with the body.
It has more than 100 clients internationally, already working from its established bases The London Bioscience Innovation Centre, Royal Veterinary College and Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience, Dublin – and now at Discovery Park in Kent which will become its primary and largest site.

Chief Executive Officer Dr Duxon, a specialist with more than 20 years’ experience in depression and anxiety disorders, said: “We are looking forward to opening in Discovery Park. We have always thought it was important to invest in the future for new scientists too – we fund a number of PhD students in the UK and Ireland, for example – and chose Discovery Park in part because it places a similar emphasis on young scientists. We are looking forward to immersing Transpharmation in the STEM and school education activities on the Park.”

The new laboratory and its proximity to other specialist research organisations will provide additional research capability for Transpharmation, allowing the team to scale up and accelerate its drug discovery support for life-changing medicines.
Dr Duxon added: “Discovery Park has a long scientific heritage of drug discovery for human health – we are pleased that we are able to continue and add to this reputation and cement British leadership in this essential field.”

Importantly, due to the enhanced connections for trains, ports and airports offered close to Discovery Park, Transpharmation will also be able to strengthen its services for overseas clients, especially those looking to enter into or expand relationships in
Europe and the UK. A key partner is Agenda Life Sciences, which will work with Discovery Park and Transpharmation providing day-to-day operations, governance and assurance of strict regulation, and ethical compliance with the Home Office for experiments.

Both Dr Upton and Dr Duxon consolidated their early careers with industry-leader GlaxoSmithKline, with Dr Duxon leading the firm’s Singapore research and development team looking at central nervous system issues and Dr Upton leading advanced clinical trials. Dr Upton is the author of more than 200 scientific publications and holds various patents and non-commercial investigational new drug (IND) awards.