New Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult CEO brings continuity and ambition for further impact

Matthew Durdy appointed to CEO role as the CGT Catapult prepares to accelerate innovation, growth and productivity, where needed in the UK. 

London UK, 29 January 2020 – The Board of the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult (CGT Catapult), a global leader in the field of advanced therapies, announced today that its new Chief Executive Officer will be Matthew Durdy, who is currently the Chief Business Officer of the organisation. The appointment will be effective from the beginning of April 2020. This comes after a formal external and internal recruitment process that was initiated after the announcement last October that Keith Thompson, the founding CEO, would be retiring in the spring of 2020.    

The Board advertised for applicants who had deep sector experience; could inspire the confidence of the CGT Catapult’s diverse stakeholders; took a perspective of the industry as a global business; were strategic thinkers with a demonstrated track record of relationship building and negotiation; and, had a strong track record of leadership and financial management.  

The appointment comes as the cell and gene therapy focussed organisation employs nearly 250 experts orientated around three key areas: manufacturing and supply chain; industrialisation and new technology development; and, global scale clinical adoption practices and product design. The core strategy will continue, and the organisation is prepared for further expansion of the industry and successfully meeting the increasing demands for innovation to drive growth and productivity. 

Dr John Brown CBE, Chairman of the Board of the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult stated:  

“We are delighted to appoint Matthew to the role. He has been a key member of the team that has delivered the success of the CGT Catapult to date and brings a previous history of managing growth in successful organisations.  We had an outstanding field of applicants, but Matthew stood out because of his insight, passion, and vision for the future role of the CGT Catapult.” 

Keith Thompson commented:   

“As I leave to pursue a non-executive portfolio after 8 years at the CGT Catapult, I am delighted to hand over the reins to Matthew. He is ideally suited for the next stage of growth” 

Matthew Durdy said:  

“The Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult is an extraordinary success story built by an amazing team of people.  There is so much that we can do that will accelerate the growth of this industry which creates high value jobs in the UK, and at the same time brings life changing treatments to children, cancer sufferers, and many others with currently unmet acute and chronic healthcare needs. I am honoured by the appointment and looking forward to getting down to business with the team and our stakeholders.”

About Matthew Durdy 

Part of the 2012 team that created the CGT Catapult, he is also an Executive Director. As Chief Business Officer he has been responsible for strategy; and finding, funding and transacting the business of the CGT Catapult. He is credited with the design and implementation of the commercial model for the highly successful CGT Catapult manufacturing centre and being a global champion for the early integration of healthcare economics and reimbursement expertise into decision-making and clinical product design.   

He began his career in international investment banking and venture capital, and has successfully managed a number of biotechnology SMEs and regional operations of multinational organisations.   He has an MA from the University of Oxford in Pure and Applied Biology, an MBA from the University of Chicago, and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment.  He is also Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of the charity Parkinson’s UK.  

About Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult:

The Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult was established as an independent centre of excellence to advance the growth of the UK cell and gene therapy industry, by bridging the gap between scientific research and full-scale commercialisation. With nearly 250 employees focusing on cell and gene therapy technologies, it works with partners in academia and industry to ensure these life-changing therapies can be developed for use in health services throughout the world. It offers leading-edge capability, technology and innovation to enable companies to take products into clinical trials and provide clinical, process development, manufacturing, regulatory, health economics and market access expertise. Its aim is to make the UK the most compelling and logical choice for UK and international partners to develop and commercialise these advanced therapies. The Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult works with Innovate UK. For more information please visit or visit  

FTI Consulting for CGT Catapult:

Michael Trace +44 (0) 203 319 5674 / 

George Kendrick +44 (0) 203 319 5674 /