The collaboration will see Achilles Therapeutics expand their manufacturing footprint at the CGT Catapult manufacturing centre to supply clinical trials of their novel T cell therapy products. Onboarding has begun into one of the newly operational modules at the state-of-the-art facility.
London UK, 8 June 2020 – The Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult (CGT Catapult) announced today that Achilles Therapeutics (Achilles) will be manufacturing their advanced therapy products for clinical trials in one of the newly operational modules at the CGT Catapult manufacturing centre.
The CGT Catapult manufacturing centre has remained operational throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to prioritise the production of patient batches manufactured for clinical supply, and the facility is continuing to support companies as they accelerate their operations.
Achilles is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel cancer immunotherapies targeting clonal neoantigens: protein markers unique to each individual that are expressed on the surface of every cancer cell. Achilles uses DNA sequencing data from each patient, together with a proprietary bioinformatics platform, to identify clonal neoantigens specific to that patient, enabling the development of personalised cell therapies. Targeting multiple clonal neoantigens that are present on all cancer cells, but absent on healthy cells, allows individualised treatments to target and destroy tumours, without harming healthy tissues and minimising tumour escape. Achilles has two ongoing clinical studies, in advanced non-small cell lung cancer and recurrent metastatic melanoma.
Achilles is the first company to occupy one of the new modules, part of an expansion of the CGT Catapult manufacturing centre completed in September 2019 which has doubled its capacity. The additional six segregated modules are now fully operational, helping to meet exceptional demand for collaboration at the centre and support the growing UK cell and gene therapy industry.
By establishing their manufacturing process at the CGT Catapult manufacturing centre, Achilles will have access to the GMP facilities, supply chain and expertise to enable them to expand their manufacturing capabilities and support clinical studies of their innovative cell therapy products.
Dr Edward Samuel, SVP Manufacturing, Achilles Therapeutics said:
“We are excited that this collaboration with CGT Catapult will enable us to increase our GMP manufacturing capacity as we progress our ongoing clinical trials. The opportunity to occupy a dedicated module with access to key support services and expertise will enable Achilles to establish a manufacturing platform to drive our growing pipeline.”
Matthew Durdy, CEO, Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult commented:
“We are delighted to announce this collaboration with Achilles Therapeutics, the latest pioneering company to choose the CGT Catapult manufacturing centre and surrounding ecosystem to develop their products. By working with Achilles, we hope to further the development of their highly promising pipeline products, and in doing so help to address an unmet medical need for patients. This collaboration also represents the first company to occupy one of the new modules at the centre, an expansion which has been driven by strong Government and European Regional Development Fund support and will enable us to continue to play a pivotal role for growth in the UK industry moving forward.”
The CGT Catapult manufacturing centre has been backed by over £75m of funding, including investment from the UK government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy, Innovate UK and from the European Regional Development Fund.
About the 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 more than 200 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 ct.catapult.org.uk or visit http://www.gov.uk/innovate-uk.
About the European Regional Development Fund
This project has received £3.36m of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.
About the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund
This project has received £12m of funding from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, part of the government’s modern Industrial Strategy. 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.