Page last updated at 11:03 GMT, Tuesday, 24 June 2008 12:03 UK

DNA pioneers to get new 197m lab

Artist's impression of new lab
An artist's impression of part of the front of the new lab

A 67m investment by the government has cleared the way for the rebuilding of the internationally-renowned Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB).

The Cambridge-based laboratory has produced 13 Nobel Prize winners and is where DNA coding was first unravelled.

The funds enable the Medical Research Council, which runs LMB, to meet the 197m cost of a replacement for the 40-year-old building.

The new facility will enable research into areas such as neurobiology.

The redevelopment will also help the lab to expand its commercial activities.

John Denham, Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills, said: "Investment in the redevelopment of LMB will help retain and attract some of the world's best scientists working on medical research.

"This laboratory is a key example of the UK leading the world in conducting basic research, translating it into health benefits and commercialising it into wealth benefits.

Cash from commercial activities

"Antibody research carried out at LMB has resulted in cancer drugs such as Herceptin and current research is looking at monoclonal antibodies to treat asthma.

"Scientists based at the Cambridge laboratory have helped start more than a dozen companies.

"The new site will enable researchers to work closely with Cambridge University's clinical school and the Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust."

The 67m contribution from the government is provided through its large facilities capital fund.

The remainder of the cash will be provided by the Medical Research Council and includes capital generated as a result of the commercialisation of discoveries made at LMB.

The University of Cambridge will contribute at least 7.5m in return for lease of space to accommodate 40 research workers.

The laboratory was founded in 1947 and the current premises were built in 1962.


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