Business Secretary Vince Cable opens Cell Therapy Catapult’s state-of-the-art facilities

The UK Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Vince Cable, will today officially open the Cell Therapy Catapult’s innovative new facilities at the Tower Wing of Guy’s Hospital in London. The Cell Therapy Catapult, which is focused on the development of the UK cell therapy industry to increase the nation’s health and wealth, moved into the 1,200m2 development in March. UK Trade & Investment has valued the global regenerative medicine industry at just over £500 million, and estimates that it will be generating revenues of over £5 billion by 2021.

With well-equipped and modular laboratories, plus space for meetings and networking, this cell therapy centre of excellence has been designed to promote collaboration and innovation across the sector in the UK and globally. The facility includes laboratories designed to mimic manufacturing suites, enabling the progress of cell therapies from the laboratory scale to commercial scale-ready using the pilot process development expertise at the Cell Therapy Catapult. A key design feature is a viewing area between the laboratories and office space, encouraging interaction and visits. The centre is part of the Government’s industrial strategy – a long-term plan to deliver high-skilled jobs and growth.

Business Secretary Vince Cable commented, ‘Our network of catapult centres brings together the very best of the UK’s businesses, scientists and engineers, to work side by side on research and development, transforming ideas into products and services that people will want to buy and sell. The Cell Therapy Catapult will help develop potentially lifesaving new drugs, taking them through clinical trial and reducing the risk involved, both nationally and globally. The Catapult is already making notable inroads into our understanding of how to treat diseases such as leukaemia and these new facilities will allow us to go further, faster in this type of research.’

Following successful technology transfer from the Cell Therapy Catapult’s interim facilities, work on several in-house and collaborative projects is ongoing in the laboratories. Since inception in 2012, the Cell Therapy Catapult has grown to over 70 staff across its Business, Clinical & Regulatory and Manufacturing & Supply Chain teams. By working with the cell therapy community to tackle translational issues in these three areas, it is helping innovative new products cross the ‘valley of death’, becoming de-risked and investable.

Keith Thompson, CEO of the Cell Therapy Catapult, said, ‘We’re delighted to welcome Dr Cable to open officially our centre of excellence. Everyone from the Cell Therapy Catapult has been energised by our move here, and the response from the cell therapy community has also been positive. Once again, we’d like to thank BIS, the TSB, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and everyone else that helped make this facility a reality – a great base from which we can help grow the UK cell therapy industry, promoting health and wealth for all.’

Following the official opening by Dr Cable, guests will be given tours of the new facility.