The Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult (CGT Catapult) has been granted £100 million funding by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to establish a CGT Catapult Manufacturing Innovation Centre in Braintree, Essex.
The CGT Catapult will engage with the whole industry, CDMOs and developers, to determine the best way of supporting UK industry to grow. CGT Catapult will develop a flexible manufacturing facility with initial remit to support the national and international response to the COVID-19 pandemic producing a vaccine at large scale once one is found. Large-scale vaccine manufacturing capabilities are expected to be transferred to the Vaccines Manufacturing and Innovation Centre (VMIC) once this becomes operational, and the CGT Catapult Manufacturing Innovation Centre will become an innovation centre for cell and gene therapies, developing expertise in technology transfer for novel therapies and vaccines manufacturing. The CGT Catapult Manufacturing Innovation Centre is scheduled to become fully operational by December 2021, by which time it is forecast that COVID-19 vaccine candidates will be approved for use.
The UK Government-appointed Vaccine Taskforce selected the CGT Catapult to establish the Manufacturing Innovation Centre, reflecting our recent experience in setting up facilities for the industrial-scale manufacture of GMP materials and remit to work across the industry to move the field forward.
CGT Catapult will provide expertise, and work with industry to install state-of-the-art equipment to enable setup of capabilities for flexible technology transfer operations and large-scale gene therapy production. This operational remit will enable the CGT Catapult to contribute to the national and international COVID-19 response and will give the UK the competencies to quickly respond to needs of upscaling technology while also developing the gene therapy industry, satisfying the UK’s long-term as well as immediate needs.
The funding commitment is part of a coordinated approach by the Government to ensure UK national preparedness for possible future pandemics and a national initiative to accelerate the mass production of vaccines in the UK, including £93 million for the Vaccines Manufacturing and Innovation Centre (VMIC) under construction in Oxfordshire.