The Cell and Gene Therapy (CGT) Catapult, which aims to make the UK a world leader in development, delivery, and commercialisation of cell and gene therapy, has opened a new manufacturing centre to accelerate growth of the industry in the UK. The centre, which is based in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, was officially opened on 23 April 2018 by Greg Clark, business secretary, and Sam Gyimah, science minister.
The development of the new centre was backed by over £60m of UK government investment as part of its industrial strategy. It is hoped the centre will bridge the gap between scientific research and commercialisation of the medicines of the future.
The centre will provide the infrastructure for developing manufacturing capability and systems for large-scale cell and gene therapy clinical studies, and accelerate commercialisation.
It will also supply the network of Advanced Therapies Treatment Centres — joint ventures between universities, industry, and the NHS — which will specialise in the delivery of cell and gene therapy products.
“By bringing together universities and businesses we can not only create the high-value jobs we need, but also develop potentially life-saving treatments,” said Gyimah.
“The UK is a world leader in science, research and innovation, and through our commitment to invest 2.4% of GDP [on research and development] by 2027, we are determined to seize the opportunities of tomorrow and help build a Britain fit for the future.”
Cell and gene therapies repair, replace, regenerate and re-engineer genes, cells and tissues to restore normal function or enhance their ability to fight diseases, such as cancer. By enabling collaborators to turn their cell and gene therapy innovations into commercially viable new medicines, the CGT Catapult will be supporting the routine delivery of these therapies to hospitals, clinics and patients, both in the UK and internationally.