Artist’s rendering of Abcam's new global headquarters at Cambridge Biomedical Campus. Credit: Cambridge Biomedical Campus.
The construction of Abcam's new research and development and headquarters building began in June 2017. Credit: Cambridge Network.
Abcam's headquarters building is part of the Phase II expansion of the Cambridge Biomedical Campus. Credit: Allies and Morrison.

In June 2017, UK-based life sciences company Abcam began building its new global headquarters building at the Cambridge Biomedical Campus (CBC) in Cambridge, UK.

The new research and development (R&D) facility and corporate headquarters are intended to accommodate the company’s UK R&D and manufacturing capabilities, as well as laboratories, marketing, sales, logistics and corporate activities.

The site is expected to be opened by the end of 2018 and will accommodate up to 450 employees, around half of the company’s global employee base.

Details of Abcam’s global headquarters in Cambridge

Abcam’s state-of-the-art Grade A headquarters will comprise a total floor space of roughly 100,000ft² and is set to combine the company’s three existing facilities at the Cambridge Science Park, which collectively cover a 38,851ft² area.

The facility will also feature a four-storey, 60,000ft² building to house office and welfare facilities, and a three-storey research and laboratory building.

The office building incorporates a meeting room, working space and fourth-floor plant room. The laboratory and office buildings will be linked to each other via a glazed atrium.

The research and laboratory building will be built on an area of around 40,000ft² and will be used for the production of biochemicals, lysates, primary and secondary antibodies, peptides, proteins, immunoassays and other life science research tools.

The laboratory will also be used for the R&D of new products to be distributed to third parties for use in clinical and biotech research.

Development and financing of the Abcam project

Abcam’s new global headquarters building is part of the 20-acre Phase II expansion of the CBC, located two miles south of the Cambridge City Centre.

CBC’s phase two expansion is being developed by Cambridge Medipark, a joint venture between Liberty Property Trust and Countryside Properties.

In October 2016, Abcam signed an agreement with Liberty Property Trust and Countryside Properties to lease 100,000ft² of the facility.

In March 2017, the company executed a pre-let contract with the site developers, under which the facility will be leased for a period of 20 years at a rate of £3.03m ($3.85m) a year.

Tesco Pension Fund agreed to provide forward funding for the site, which is the first to be built as part of the second phase expansion.

Benefits of the Abcam laboratory and office facility in Cambridge

The global headquarters building is expected to help Abcam enhance discovery in the fields of life sciences and clinical innovation.

It is anticipated to improve the company’s product development and innovation capabilities in order to meet the requirements of global research communities in the biomedical and biotechnology fields.

“The site is expected to be opened by the end of 2018 and will accommodate up to 450 employees, around half of the company’s global employee base.”

The site will also strengthen the company’s ability to provide reagents and tools for the research and clinical communities, and enable greater interaction between the firm’s marketing and selling teams and scientists to improve Abcam’s presence in the UK market.

The facility will also serve as the company’s distribution centre in Europe.

Contractors involved in the project

US-based architecture, planning and design firm NBBJ was appointed to design Abcam’s purpose-built office and laboratory facility.

In March 2017, British construction company Kier Group was given a contract to build the facility.

UK-based company APS was contracted to provide technical and financial advisory services for the design and development of Abcam’s site.