Cell Therapy Manufacturing Center to be Built in UK

December 19, 2014
Pharmaceutical Technology Editors

The Cell Therapy Catapult, a UK non-profit center for advancing cell and gene therapies, will manage the manufacturing center, which will be used for late-phase clinical trials and commercial supply.

The Cell Therapy Catapult, which is focused on the development of the United Kingdom cell therapy industry to increase the nation's health and wealth, has chosen to build its £55m ($86 million) manufacturing center in Stevenage, UK. The UK Cell Therapy Manufacturing Centre, which is expected to open in 2017, will be managed by the Cell Therapy Catapult and will be used for manufacture of late-phase clinical trial and commercial supply of advanced therapeutic medicinal products including cell and gene therapies.

Its position on the Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst campus will provide additional inward investment from global companies, as well as support biotech and life-sciences companies based in the UK. The large-scale manufacturing facility is expected to create up to 150 jobs. “We’re excited to be making this announcement, which demonstrates the investment the UK government is making to advance the industry into becoming a world leader in advanced therapy development and commercialization," said Keith Thompson, CEO of the Cell Therapy Catapult, in a press release. "This facility will complement the existing UK capability, enabling companies to operate at the scale needed for Phase III clinical trials, and we look forward to working with global scientific and medical communities to assist in their research into products that have the potential to address many unmet medical needs.”

The Cell Therapy Catapult is part of a family of Catapults, which are not-for profit, independent centers that connect businesses with the UK's research and academic communities. “This is an exciting development for the Cell Therapy Catapult and an important next step in the establishment of the UK as a global manufacturing center for the cell therapy industry," said Iain Gray, chief executive of Innovate UK, in a press release. "The choice of Stevenage follows a rigorous selection process to ensure the right location for this important facility. The new center is a further endorsement by the Government of the Catapult model following the Hauser review and recommendations that were published last month."

The Cell Therapy Catapult also launched its Advisory Panel, comprising 15 academic and industry leaders, the group announced in a Dec. 18, 2014 press release. The panel's initial meeting discussed a range of topics, including anticipated trends in cell therapy over the next decade, the development of the UK Cell Therapy Manufacturing Centre, and optimizing academic engagement.

Source: The Cell Therapy Catapult