KJ Tait

Astex Pharmaceuticals, Cambridge Science Park

Astex Pharmaceuticals
Science & Technology

Astex are a structure based drug discovery company pioneering the use of high throughput X-ray crystallography technology for the rapid identification of novel drug candidates. Their laboratory space includes chemistry laboratories, X-ray crystallography facilities, an NMR room, tissue culture rooms, extensive IT facilities, write-up and general administration space.


This project involved a re-fit and upgrade of a 35,000ft2 new bio-pharma laboratory, including renewal of the MEP services, whilst maintaining the business functions of Astex.


KJ Tait have had an ongoing involvement with Astex since the construction of the original building which was completed in 2005.

The new chemistry lab is located in existing office space and required a new ventilation system to support the fourteen fume cupboards. We utilised innovative adiabatic cooling and heat recovery on the fume extract to minimise the significant heating and cooling loads associated with the fume cupboards.


The project included four Cryo Electron Microscopy suites for preparation and imaging of samples which require an extremely close-control environment.


The refurbishment works were carried out in an occupied laboratory building and had to be phased to avoid any disruption to existing experiments and occupants.