Discovery Park is Logical Location for Serum, Plasma, Swab Company

In the four years since it was founded, Logical Biological, which specialises in sourcing healthy and diseased human biological material such as serum, plasma, swabs, and saliva directly from donor centres and blood banks around the world, has established itself as a go-to company for diagnostic test developers.

Founder and managing director, James Steggles, set up the business after being persuaded by his family and friends to go it alone and put his years of industry experience to work.

With the need to operate from Containment Level 2 laboratory space, James identified Discovery Park after looking for an effective home for his start-up company, Logical Biological, with his search covering Kent and London.

Speaking from his office in Building 500, James said: “Discovery Park offered the space and the all-important containment facilities, and a welcoming approach that made it easy for us to choose to move here.

“Since establishing the company at Discovery Park we’ve grown quickly and already moved to bigger offices and labs twice, with another move onsite on the horizon.”

The company’s expertise has helped it establish a global network of partners to help source the human biological material needed by companies involved in the development of disease diagnosis testing.

Logical Biological’s aspiration is to be the company of choice for test developers to partner with their 12-strong team. A further three people are expected to join by the end of the year, maintaining it as one of the UK’s fastest growing companies.

James, who has a PhD in Biochemistry and years of experience in the industry, felt that there was an opportunity to establish a business that offered integrity, reliability and quality assurance.


“The development of high-quality tests, whether for allergies, auto-immune diseases, cancer, cardiology or infectious diseases, require reliable information gathered from high-quality human material. My experience while working in the industry was that the supply-chain too often failed. I knew that with the right attention to detail, we could do much better,” added James.

His confidence has been well-founded. The company now provides human biomaterial to many globally recognised names and often with multiple projects for each ongoing at any one time. Logical Biological’s approach and expertise is being put to good use by test developers involved in a wide range of clinical areas.

James added: “Covid-19 shone a light on the value of diagnostic tests and how they can support clinicians across many fields, which has stimulated demand for the materials we are perfectly placed to source and supply.

“Repeat business, referrals from existing customers and to potential new ones, has driven our growth. Seeing our work, which is at the start of the development of new tests, come to fruition with the tests being launched into the market, gives all of the team huge satisfaction, and drives us to be even better.”


Logical Biological has benefited from the talent pool that exists in Kent, and specifically in the Discovery Park area.

“The majority of the CVs we receive from potential team members inevitably mention Pfizer which demonstrates the quality of the skills on offer, and the local universities are delivering science graduates to the area.

“We’ve also benefitted from the community of like-minded companies here with shared values, with relationships nurtured by the team on site, and we have developed a strong partnership with at least one other firm at Discovery Park.”

Logical Biological’s offices within Building 500, with its testing and write-up space, put the team in amongst a community of high-growth companies, many of whom have started and flourished at Discovery Park.


James concluded: “Being among business owners and scientists who are open to collaborate here means that Discovery Park is a great environment in which to grow.

“I am delighted about how great the last four years have turned out. Our success has been built on doing things right through integrity and reliability and an extreme commitment to our customers.”

The team has also benefitted from the work-life balance offered by Discovery Park and living in Kent. James frequently commutes by train from Whitstable to Ramsgate and then cycles to work through Pegwell Bay nature reserve, with the sea air getting the day off to a great start.

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Tackling Life Sciences Challenges Through Collaboration in 2023

The last 12 months have been challenging on every front, from Covid recovery and soaring energy prices to the slump in investment in Life Sciences, while the Government’s decision on R&D tax credits has been the most recent blow to a sector whose huge potential is being thwarted by a shortage of lab space and a lack of funding.

Ahead of the recent review, the BIA urged the government to use a light hand when altering regimes as it believed that the then SME and large company R&D set ups worked well, and now in the light of the outcome it is continuing to review the implications of the changes.

Meanwhile, information shared at the Genesis 2022 life sciences conference in London showed a fall-off in biologics innovation, a steep drop in IPO financing and described the Biopharma market as ‘still in the dumps.’

But waiting for these issues to be resolved is not an option. Science parks must continue to innovate in order to sustain future growth. We are on the brink of being a global force in life sciences and biotechnology and we can’t let this opportunity slip away now.

So what can we do in 2023 that will bring our ambitions within reach? Well, we can start by collaborating.

By forging new links and making fresh connections we can build on our successes and overcome the obstacles in our path. It is only through pooling our knowledge and resources that we will be able to move research out of academia, into clinics and ultimately create effective treatments, to the benefit of patients, companies, science parks and the UK PLC.

At Discovery Park we describe ourselves as an ‘ecosystem’ and as a ‘community thriving on collaboration’. We provide facilities; access to business services and life sciences expertise; links with further and higher education; and we foster a network of tenants who are working collaboratively to achieve their goals; but that’s not all, we also look to the wider life sciences and biotech communities in order to establish relationships that will benefit those involved.

We have recently opened our Incubation Hub – 50,000 sq ft of wet labs and workspaces where start-ups can become established – and growing and supporting this community will be one of our major areas of focus in 2023.

Helping with this will be our new Barclays Eagle Lab, which is one of the largest co-working and incubator networks for start-ups and scale-ups in the UK, supporting entrepreneurs and ambitious businesses to collaborate, innovate and grow.

We will continue to expand focus beyond the Golden Triangle and champion the important research being carried out across the whole of the country. And we will build collaborative links with the Knowledge Quarter at St Pancras, home to, amongst others, The Crick Institute and Digital Catapult. The opening of the new Thanet Parkway station in 2023 will bring these and other collaborators within a 60 minute train journey from our campus in Sandwich.

And through Discovery Park Ventures (DPV, launched in 2022 with the capacity to write over £500,000 in funding, we will forge ahead with investments in early-stage life science and technology companies, allowing them to scale at speed. Already this is backing work in the  areas of microbiology, immunotherapy, anticancer research and ophthalmology, and these companies, with their potential to transform infant health, improve cancer outcomes and change eye operations for the better, are just a few examples of the cutting-edge life sciences research being carried out in the UK which must be supported if our health and economy is to improve.

So will the economic and regulatory climate change in 2023? Well that remains to be seen, but while continuing to lobby the Government on issues such as R&D tax credits and pushing for more initiatives such as the new International Science Partnership Fund, launched in by science minister George Freeman in December with the aim of supporting UK scientists working with peers around the world, we must continue to move forwards with our own initiatives, working together where we can in order to push the life sciences agenda and foster the conditions in which breakthroughs can happen and new treatments are realised without unnecessary delays.

Science And Integrity Drives Discovery Park Business

The founding of Scitegrity in 2011 coincided with the opening of Discovery Park, making it one of the first new businesses on the site.


The journey has taken Scitegrity from a start-up company, offering chemical regulatory services to computer modelling of drugs in development to assess for potential drug abuse liabilities, to today working for five of the top 10 pharmaceutical companies in the world.


Founders Joe Bradley and Ian Johns, both with many years of working in the pharmaceutical industry and PfizerRoche and AstraZeneca, had always lived locally and wanted to remain in the area. Having spotted there was no online tool available to identify regulatable chemicals for scientists involved in R&D, they took the plunge and set-up Scitegrity.

Scitegrity’s online platform – Controlled Substances Squared – quickly screens even the largest collections of millions of chemicals against controlled and regulated substance legislation in 28 countries around the world and is used many of the top pharma and chemical companies at the enterprise level.


Thanks to its complex algorithms, data sets and expertise, Scitegrity is able to utilise its capabilities to support the chemicals, pharmaceutical and biotech industry in the safe and legal supply of R&D chemicals, to the development of new drugs to treat psychiatric, neurological and CNS disorders through its insilico abuse potential assessments, required by the FDA and EMA.


Joe Bradley, Scitegrity’s CEO, said: “From our offices at Discovery Park we serve our customers around the world, with the majority based in the US or Europe.


“One part of what we do for our customers is linked to de-risking the development of drugs on the central nervous system and we are very excited to hear of the ambitious plans to create a national centre of excellence in neuroscience at Discovery Park.”


When Scitegrity was formed there was a degree of uncertainty over the long-term future of the site.


Joe Bradley added: “There was the widely held view that the site could close, but thanks to the vision of its owners, it’s become an excellent example of turning around such a major site.


“The park’s main tenant, Pfizer, has remained and continued to invest on site and the owners have nurtured a community of likeminded scientists and the businesses needed to support their work. Being onsite has given us many networking opportunities and access to support and growth advice such as the Discovery Park Reactor program. It’s a Kent success story.”


Given the growing regulatory environment impacting many industries, Scitegrity is now using its algorithms to extend its offering to include dangerous goods and GHS assessments of chemicals to help other sectors de-risk and speed up product development.


The last two years have impacted every business. Scitegrity has adapted well and is helping its clients move to the cloud, transitioning from legacy computer-based systems. Thanks to Microsoft Teams, Scitegrity is able to manage its own team effectively with work-shadowing in place, as well as providing remote training on its platform to its customers.


Reflecting on the journey, Joe Bradley said: “The fact that we work directly for such major names in the pharma industry speaks volumes about the quality of what we offer. We’re confident we’ll continue to grow as other industries adapt to compliance and regulation, and regulatory frameworks evolve.


“On a personal level, Discovery Park has given us the opportunity to create our own successful business with a platform for further growth, and the area provides us with that all important work-life balance.”

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