Business Secretary Greg Clark and Science Minister Sam Gyimah officially opened centre to ‘bridge the gap’ between scientific research and commercialisation of the medicines of the future. Over £60 million of Industrial Strategy investment is being used to develop the new centre.
On August 23rd 2018, the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult’s (CGT Catapult) unique cell and gene therapy manufacturing centre was officially opened by the Business Secretary Greg Clark and Science Minister Sam Gyimah.
Backed by over £60 million of UK Government investment from its Industrial Strategy, the centre will support and develop the rapidly growing global cell and gene therapy industry in the United Kingdom whilst demonstrating the government’s modern Industrial Strategy in action.
The Stevenage-based centre, operating to Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) standards for clinical product manufacturing, will provide the global Advanced Therapeutics industry with the infrastructure to develop manufacturing capability and systems for large-scale cell and gene therapy clinical studies, and accelerate commercialisation.
The centre will also supply the network of world-first, UK-based Advanced Therapies Treatment Centres (ATTCs) formed as part of the government’s investment of £146 million through its Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund in medicines manufacturing. By providing access to the expertise, skills, facilities and equipment needed to help organisations develop new, sophisticated technologies and systems for large-scale manufacturing, the new centre can help accelerate a company’s growth.
“Through our Industrial Strategy we are determined to boost innovation, create new highly skilled jobs and use government investment to change people’s lives for the better. This unique new centre will bring together our expertise in medicines manufacturing with our world-beating science and research base to create revolutionary treatments that fight diseases like cancer and save lives. We are determined to make the UK the most innovative nation in the world through our Industrial Strategy and its Grand Challenges which is why we are investing a record £7 billion in R&D by 2021, the highest increase in 40 years, and have committed to investing 2.4% of GDP on R&D by 2027.”
Cell and gene therapies offer revolutionary treatments which repair, replace, regenerate and re-engineer genes, cells and tissues to restore normal function or enhance their ability to fight diseases, like cancer. By enabling collaborators at the centre to turn their cell and gene therapy innovations into commercially viable new medicines, the CGT Catapult is supporting the routine delivery of these therapies to hospitals, clinics and patients globally.
“We are thrilled to open the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult manufacturing centre with the Business Secretary Greg Clark and our initial collaborators Autolus, Cell Medica, AdaptImmune, Freeline, and Thermo Fisher Scientific. These companies have international activities and choices, and have chosen to develop European-based manufacturing in the UK. The manufacturing centre is integral to the development of a thriving global cell and gene therapy industry. This is an area of medicine that has shown potential for decades and we now need new manufacturing technology like never before. The centre is a major statement of intent and a springboard for industry in its global development. The launch of this important facility pushes the agenda forward and accelerates the timeframe for bringing these living medicines to patients.”
Located within the rapidly growing European cell and gene therapy cluster at the Stevenage BioScience Catalyst, the manufacturing centre, alongside wider CGT Catapult initiatives, reinforces the UK Government’s ambition to drive the UK life sciences industry forward faster, more efficiently and with stronger returns.
“This new cell and gene centre represents our ambitious Industrial Strategy in action. By bringing together universities and businesses we can not only create the high value jobs we need but also develop potentially lifesaving treatments. The UK is a world leader in science, research and innovation and through our commitment to invest 2.4% of GDP on R&D by 2027, we are determined to seize the opportunities of tomorrow and help build a Britain fit for the future.”