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Health Protection Agency

Protecting the Health of Everyone in the UK

Latest Press Release


Health Protection Agency

The Health Protection Agency exists to help protect the health of everyone in the UK with particular emphasis on reducing the impacts of infectious diseases, poisons, chemical and radiation hazards.

The Agency provides expert scientific advice to the government, public and others, whilst at the same time developing its scientific capabilities in association with industry to develop new healthcare products.

Contract research, testing, development and manufacture of products

Various component parts of the Agency have been working with the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and healthcare sectors of industry for over 50 years, undertaking contract research, testing, development and manufacture of products. There is particular expertise in vaccines, enzymes, diagnostics, therapeutic proteins and other biologically derived compounds.

The Health Protection Agency has four main research centres as well as a network of laboratories and units across the country. The most recent centre to join the agency in 2009 was the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC). NIBSC’s mission is to assure the quality of biological medicines. At the heart of the work is the preparation, storage and worldwide distribution of WHO International Standards and Reference Materials to provide benchmarks for product quality. In addition NIBSC provides testing services as the UK’s Official Medicines Control Laboratory to ensure compliance with product specifications.

Development of biological products derived from microbial fermentation

In addition to this regulatory role the Agency also has licensed facilities including both GMP and non-GMP areas for the development of biological products derived from microbial fermentation, particularly those requiring microbial containment or focused on the biodefence market.

GMP manufacture and biodefence

Our services include GMP manufacture, biosafety level two and three containment, biodefence, providing clinical trial material, producing vaccines, overseeing process development and running GLP testing laboratories. The Health Protection Agency also remains dedicated to small-scale needs.

We are able to undertake the various stages of process development from initial concept through to finished product by working in partnership with our customers. These include:

  • A proprietary expression system
  • Cell banking
  • Media development and yield optimisation
  • Fermentation scale-up
  • Purification and down stream processing

Crossflow filtration equipment

Our GMP production plant features bacterial fermentation vessels from 25L to 750L and product recovery equipment including continuous centrifuges and crossflow filtration equipment. A separate licensed facility is designed to operate up to containment level three conditions with dedicated air handling and effluent treatment for the manufacture of specialist products, including toxin therapeutics and biodefence vaccines.

High quality microbiological research and testing

Research is a driving force of the Agency which is internationally recognised as a world leader in high quality microbiological research and testing. We have a proven track record of working with foreign governments, international biotechnology and pharmaceutical corporations, as well as start-up and spin-out companies.

One area in which the Agency is considered to be at the cutting edge is in diagnostics. Our laboratories work closely together with hospitals and health authorities across the UK and has produced a number of tests which have been commercialised.

The Business Development Department of the Agency covers all areas of our work and its aim is to identify key research products and technologies that can be developed and licensed. The department also works closely with customers to ensure that we deliver where undertaking service activities on behalf of partners and stakeholders to generate a positive circle of research, investment and product development benefitting public health.


Health Protection Agency
Business Development
Porton Down,

Tel: 01980 612221
Fax: 01980 612242

Quick Contact Health Protection Agency

Biosafety Unit

The Biosafety Unit at the Agency's Centre at Porton Down has unique capabilities in the fields of aerobiology, biocontainment and gaseous disinfection.

Aerobiology is the study of the behaviour of micro-organisms in the air and our expertise includes aerosol sampling and generation. Biocontainment is the use of specialist equipment procedures to reduce and prevent exposure of people to dangerous micro-organisms.The Biosafety Unit has a unique capability of measuring and quantifying the effectiveness of this equipment and these…

External Quality Assessment / Proficiency Testing

A system in which samples of known but undisclosed content are introduced into a laboratory's routine testing procedure.

We are an independent body which protects the health and well-being of the population. Health protection includes preventing and controlling infectious diseases; reducing the adverse effects of chemical, microbiological and radiological hazards; and preparing for potential or emerging threats. We merged with the National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB) in April 2005 and now provide radiological…

Radiation Services & Activities

• Personal Dosimetry ServiceWe offer personal dosimetry services based on the Division's expertise in radiological protection and backed up by continual research and development.• Dental X-Ray Protection ServicesOur Dental X-Ray Protection Services have provided independent advice and a wide range of services to the dental profession and trades for more than 25 years.• Radiation Protection…

Training & Events

We are strongly committed to our role as one of the key providers of health protection training.

Our training programmes, based on the expertise of our staff, prepare and support individuals and organisations involved in protecting people from  infectious disease, chemical, poison or radiation hazards, and from new and emerging threats, including new strains of disease or bioterrorist attack.We offer a wide variety of education and training opportunities at local, national, and…
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Quick Contact Health Protection Agency
Quick Contact Health Protection Agency

Quick Contact Health Protection Agency
Quick Contact Health Protection Agency
Quick Contact Health Protection Agency

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