NEWS

Labskin doubles in size here onsite

Labskin UK – a leading skincare testing company – has doubled its lab and office presence here at York Biotech Campus, to launch new services that will further strengthen the region’s reputation as a leading bioscience hub.

The new space follows an increase in market demand for Labskin’s artificial human-like skin product as a viable alternative to human volunteer studies to test skincare and healthcare products, which haven’t been able to take place because of the pandemic.

Labskin has grown at a fast pace since moving to York Biotech Campus in 2014, but its latest expansion is its biggest yet, as it more than doubles its space to nearly 9,000 sq. ft. The expansion includes five new laboratories, including a dedicated Labskin production suite and office space.

The additional labs were introduced so that Labskin could expand its services to include polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and gene sequencing. This is a completely new to market service used to identify a skin type and how different products react to it, and it’s expected to attract the business from multi-national clients as well as direct from consumers.

Labskin will also be introducing services from Modern Water, a world-leading water monitoring company based in the US, owned by Labskin’s parent company (Integumen PLC). The expansion means the company can now produce reagents from Modern Water for the first in the UK, which are used in specialised monitoring of toxicity in water and soil.

To support the growth in market demand and development of its services, Labskin’s workforce has also grown substantially. At the start of 2020, the company employed eight people at the York Biotech Campus base, and a year later they are a team of 23. The business aims to be at 30 employees by the end of the year, creating more opportunities for high-value jobs in the region.

To make the expansion possible, we worked closely with Labskin from initial planning in summer 2020, to fitouts from November last year. Completion took place in February 2021.

Nicola Kingswell, Head of Laboratories at Labskin said: “It’s been an extremely busy year for us at Labskin. Not only have we expanded our services and continued to work with some of the biggest names in skin and personal care such as Unilever, but our skin has helped in the fight against COVID-19 and has been used to test the effectiveness of products such as hand sanitiser on protecting against the virus. We’re also experiencing a rise in demand for new Labskin models that can be used for research into how products react with different ethnicities.

“Market demand, new services and with a drive to continue to innovate, we naturally needed more space. The team at York Biotech Campus has always supported us through each phase of our growth and been extremely accommodating and this time was no different. They carried out a full refurbishment and made sure our new labs and offices worked for us, both now and for the future as we continue to grow.”

Liz Cashon, Innovation Campus Manager at York Biotech Campus added: “It’s been a pleasure supporting Labskin since they joined us at the campus seven years ago. They are an organisation driving Yorkshire’s bioscience sector forwards, with its cutting-edge research continuing to generate interest from businesses across the globe.

“It was vital when creating plans for its new labs that the different services Labskin offer were self-contained. For example, the production of Labskin must stay separate from the microbiome microbiology, as contamination could jeopardise months of work. We managed to pull together a solution that works perfectly for the team and we look forward to continuing to help facilitate innovation for both Labskin and our other tenants here onsite.”

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