US biotech & Cancer treatment specialist firm launches new Liverpool laboratory

6th October 2022

A US biotech firm that develops groundbreaking cancer treatments has opened a new base in Liverpool.

A dinner at Lu Ban to celebrate the arrival of Pierian Biosciences to Liverpool

A dinner at Lu Ban to celebrate the arrival of Pierian Biosciences to Liverpool. Image source: LBN Daily

Pierian Biosciences, based in Nashville in the US, specialises in providing critical diagnostics information to help personalise the treatment of cancer patients. Its move into Liverpool is part of an expansion project worth more than £60m.

Liverpool corporate finance and advisory outfit Harrogate International Advisory played a key role in bringing Pierian. It helped to secure financial support from the Liverpool City Region Inward Investment Fund.

Based at Liverpool Science ParkPierian focuses on “personalised cancer intelligence”. It offers guidance for healthcare providers to offer a personal treatment for patients suffering from cancer and auto-immune diseases.

The company’s decision to open a permanent laboratory within the UK has been several years in the making. As the organisation seeks to expand its work around the world, directors decided that it would be valuable to have a permanent laboratory base within Europe. 

In recent years Liverpool’s biosciences sector has seen a resurgence. KQ Liverpool has given new impetus to the city’s knowledge quarter. In particular, the city is home to a number of organisations that focus primarily on cancer treatment and cancer research.

These include the Liverpool Cancer Research Institute, Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, Liverpool University Biobank, Cancer Research UK’s cancer trial units and the Royal Liverpool University Hospital.

Robert Henry, president and chief executive of Pierian Biosciences, said:

“Right now, we have two assays (an investigative procedure in laboratory medicine) that we are developing right here in the UK. We will provide further information once they receive full approval.

“It makes perfect sense for us to come to Liverpool. The opportunity to gain access to tissue samples of cancerous tumours needed to conduct our studies is far greater in the UK and Europe right now than in the US.

“And Liverpool Science Park’s laboratory facilities are of the highest possible standard for the work that we carry out. We have been overwhelmed by the offers of collaboration by local academics and oncology specialists.”

Norman Purvis, chief scientific officer, head of research and development at Pierian Biosciences, has moved to the UK to set up and manage the Liverpool laboratory on a permanent basis. The opening of the Liverpool laboratory will also create new employment opportunities as the UK team expands.

Sue Wright, managing director at Harrogate, added:

“We started working on this project in 2021. Tony Reeves, the then-chief executive of Liverpool City Council, gave the project huge support to ensure that it landed in Liverpool.

“The collaboration from local academics, professors of oncology, city council stakeholders and Colin Sinclair of the Knowledge Quarter has been exceptional. This really shows that we can successfully bring big pharma to Liverpool.”

To mark the occasion of Pierian Biosciences’ expansion into the UK, the company held a dinner at LuBan restaurant. It was attended by numerous key stakeholders, academics and members of Liverpool City Council.

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6th October 2022