Renovo comes of age with first steps out of incubator

Spin-out biotech company Renovo Group is to take a further 25,000 sq ft at the University of Manchester Incubator Company's Core Technology Facility after out-growing its current facilities within the Incubator Building.

Publicly listed Renovo, a specialist in scar prevention and reduction treatments, will retain 4,100 sq ft of its current 8,500 sq ft within the Incubator Building, also managed by UMIC.

Renovo has 170 employees and has experienced rapid growth since forming in 2000 thanks to major contract wins, including a deal worth more than £400m with drug making giant Shire for the ex-European rights to its anti-scarring treatment, Juvista. Under this deal Renovo retains the European commercialisation rights to Juvista and the CTF will form Renovo's European headquarters.

The CTF, on Grafton Street, is a four-storey facility that provides specialist accommodation for companies that are commercialising biotechnology. Renovo's space is currently being refurbished to include fume cupboards and tissue culture cabinets and will be occupied by the New Year. The refit is being part-funded by the North West Development Agency. Renovo plans to create 50 new jobs through the expansion.

Robin Cridland, financial director at Renovo, said: "Renovo is now a fully fledged biotechnology company with a main market listing on the London Stock Exchange, so we are simply not an incubator company anymore. We looked at other options for facilitating our expansion but the University of Manchester is a world leader in intellectual property commercialisation and we have received valuable support from UMIC over the last seven years. It makes sense to stay in UMIC facilities."

General manager of UMIC, Martino Picardo, said: "The extra 25,000 sq ft will allow the Renovo team to be more cohesive as it is all on one level. Renovo will most certainly benefit from the extensive facilities that now exist in the CTF."

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