Oxford Properties has marked its entry into the European life science real estate sector with an acquisition in the UK as it plans to invest £1.2bn (€1.4bn) in Europe over the next five years.

The global real estate asset management arm of Canada’s OMERS has invested £45m (€52.4m) to buy 310 Cambridge Science Park from Local Authorities’ Property Fund, a fund managed by the public sector and charities investment manager CCLA.

The 59,000sqft 310 Cambridge Science Park is fully let to AstraZeneca until November 2023, who are then relocating to a new headquarters.

Oxford Properties made its first investment in the life science sector in 2017 and currently has a $1.1bn life sciences portfolio in North America.

The latest deal represents the seventh life sciences asset Oxford Properties has acquired since the start of 2021, the company said.

Oxford Properties said intends to deploy approximately £1.2bn in European life sciences over the next five years, as part of its goal to build a $10-15bn global life sciences business over time.

The company’s initial European focus will be on opportunities within the UK, with eventual expansion into other core territories across Europe, it said.

The plan will be to target assets through a number of “entry points including direct property acquisitions and developments, investments in platforms and via debt”, the company said.

Jo McNamara, executive vice president, Europe and Asia-Pacific at Oxford Properties, said: “Since our first life sciences investment in 2017 this sector has been one of Oxford’s key global conviction calls. The sector is supported by several structural tailwinds including demographic changes and the convergence of science and technology.

“Advances in data analytics and AI are accelerating life-changing innovations across biotech, pharmaceuticals, nutrition and medical devices. As a result, both private and governmental funding for promising products and companies has markedly increased in recent years.”

Abby Shapiro, senior vice president in charge of office, retail and life sciences at Oxford Properties, said the company’s initial European focus will be on the UK, where it is actively seeking opportunities in the ‘Golden Triangle’ and the Greater London area.

“The momentum driving the life sciences sector in the UK is supported by the research and start-ups emanating from some of the world’s most prestigious medical universities, the focused funding of the UK government and increased levels of venture capital activity.

“Given the relative low levels of existing supply, Oxford will look to utilise our world-class development expertise to help provide the critically needed lab infrastructure required to allow innovative biotech firms to deliver the life-saving therapeutics of tomorrow.”

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