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The Oxford Science Park (TOSP) is marking a significant milestone after it secured a deal to host the UK's first ever dedicated Vaccines Manufacturing Innovation Centre (VMIC).

Set to be based at the park, the VMIC is part of a project aimed at addressing the country's gap in late-stage vaccine manufacturing process development. Expected to create dozens of science and medical jobs, the £66 million centre will take a plot at the park close to the renowned Magdalen Centre, which will open in Spring 2022.

The University of Oxford, Imperial College and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine are behind the centre, which will be run with support from pharmaceutical partners including Janssen and Merck, and GE Healthcare.

The creation of the new VMIC centre is also expected to build strong links and future opportunities with TOSP's other life sciences occupants across the infectious diseases and oncology industries.

Commenting on the deal, Piers Scrimshaw-Wright, managing director of The Oxford Science Park, said: "The Vaccines Manufacturing Innovation Centre will be a major part of the UK life sciences research and manufacturing infrastructure, and we are delighted that it will be located here.

"Building on Oxford’s reputation as a centre of excellence in vaccines research, this multi-party initiative provides a significant boost to the collaborative ethos here," he added. "As well as providing local jobs, it complements TOSP’s long-term commitment to science, innovation and entrepreneurship in Oxford, and we look forward to working with the VMIC team on its development."

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