New investment in Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult manufacturing centre

£12m Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund award will double current capacity of theCell and Gene Therapy Catapult manufacturing centre in Stevenage, enabling more companies to develop cell therapy products for the global market. CGT Catapult holds unique expertise across the cell and gene therapy development cycle and aims to bring forward the availability of innovative treatments for patients in the UK and worldwide at large scale.

As part of a £197 million investment in the healthcare and life sciences sector, a £12 million award from the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund will significantly increase the current size and capability of the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult (CGT Catapult) large-scale GMP manufacturing centre. The award, which builds on the current £55 million investment in the project,allows the centre’s capacity to double, offering businesses developing cell therapy products further opportunities to accelerate trials and worldwide commercialisation to bring these rapidly evolving medicines to patients.

The award, announced Business Secretary Greg Clark and Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, is part of the Government’s agenda to invest in best-in-class technology via Innovate UK and the Catapult Programme, which speeds up the manufacture and market availability of innovative therapies while further building the exporting capability of the UK’s biopharmaceutical sector.

A further £30 million investment in new Advanced Therapies Treatment Centres,also announced today, will see the creation of three hospital-based sites designed to transform the UK’s ability to deliver cell and gene therapies to patients.

Cell and gene therapies are a core component of a revolution in medicine across a broad array of disease areas and continued Government investment is helping us to rapidly evolve the UK as a global hub.

Our mission is to facilitate the growth of a major UK industry, bringing transformative therapies to patients which present new options in challenging disease areas. Key to this is the availability of an advanced, robust supply and logistics infrastructure, which our novel manufacturing centre delivers.Industry demand for these services is high and we are looking forward towel coming our first collaborators to the centre this year.

– Keith Thompson,CEO, Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult

The Stevenage-based manufacturing centre, scheduled to open in Autumn 2017, will provide the UK with the manufacturing facilities needed for large scale cell and gene therapy clinical studies and commercialisation, inline with Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) standards. Its innovative business model will allow the development of new manufacturing processes in a collaborative environment. The centre features a series of large clean room modules which can be occupied by businesses conducting trials or commercial manufacture of these therapies at significant scale. The centre is designed to help de-risk capital investment in product development by reducing the outlay required to bring trials to fruition and to collaborate on the new technologies needed in manufacture and supply from the factory to the bedside.

The Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund is a four-year, £1 billion investment in cutting-edge technology designed to create jobs and improve living standards,built on guidance from business and the academic community. Healthcare and Medicine is one of three core areas for investment under the programme, which was announced in the 2017 Spring Budget.