PHE drug development to transfer to new state-owned company
Public Health England will transfer its drug development and production to a new company, Porton Biopharma. The transfer of Public Health England’s (PHE’s) clinical drug development and production capability into a stand-alone, state-owned biopharmaceutical limited company has been approved by the Secretary of State for Health.
Clinical drug production and development has taken place at Porton, near Salisbury, Wiltshire since the 1970s and last year this generated revenues of more than $68.2 million.
The new company, Porton Biopharma, wholly owned by the Secretary of State for Health, will employ over 200 people at the Porton site and now will be better placed to develop further business. The future success and revenue growth of Porton Biopharma will provide PHE with an income dividend which will be ploughed back into the delivery of its priorities.
Dr. Roger Hinton, managing director, said, “Working as part of Public Health England, and prior to that in the Health Protection Agency, has enabled us to go through all the early stages of our development in a carefully managed and controlled manner. Now as a stand-alone company, we can better compete in the biopharmaceutical market and shape our own future, pursue more opportunities and more rapidly respond to changes in global drug markets.
The company manufactures the leukaemia drug Erwinase as well as the only U.K. licensed Anthrax vaccine. It also produces a wide range of clinical materials for clients and its Containment Level 3 capability enables it to produce bespoke low volume, high toxicity bacterial products and provides commercial services to overseas governments including the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. National Institutes of Health.