LONDON, -- Prince Charles praised Cambridge as a centre of scientific collaboration Tuesday when AstraZeneca, a pharmaceutical company, opened a 1billion-pound ($1.34 Billion) research center. This center will help to continue work on the development of one of the first COVID-19 vaccinations.
More than 2,200 researchers will be housed in the 19,000-square-meter (more that 200,000 feet) complex located near the University of Cambridge. This new business joins a group of companies that seek to make Cambridge a center for life sciences research, similar to California's Silicon Valley for the technology sector.
Charles stated that he had studied at Cambridge over 50 years ago and that one of the most special things about the city was its ability to attract minds, spark unique cross-disciplinary conversations, and foster collaboration and ingenuity.
According to Cambridge Ahead (which promotes business development in Cambridge), the Cambridge life sciences cluster is made up of 631 companies. They employ nearly 21,000 people and have an annual revenue of 7 Billion Pounds.
AstraZeneca collaborated with Oxford University in order to create one of the first COVID-19 vaccinations that was approved by regulators in the U.K. and the European Union. After pledging to make the vaccine available on a non-profit basis, the company and its licensing partners delivered over 1.5 billion doses of the vaccine around the globe.
AstraZeneca stated last week that it intended to begin selling the vaccine at a modest profit, but it would continue to provide it to developing countries at cost.
AstraZeneca plans to also ask the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for approval of the vaccine.