Press Release: Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult Annual Review Reveals Burgeoning UK Cell and Gene Medicines Sector

In its 2017 Annual Review published today, the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult (CGT Catapult) shares an overview of its work over the past year as it increases its contribution to the UK’s thriving cell and gene therapy sector.

Helping to further establish the UK as the go-to place for the development of a new generation of living medicines, the CGT Catapult has reached major milestones in both its clinical development and manufacturing projects over the past year as it builds its domestic and global reputation as a key support to cell and gene therapy developers.

Some key developments outlined in the review include:

  • Acquisition of Catapult Therapy TCR, the subsidiary set up to develop WT1 TCR T cell therapy, by Cell Medica
  • Autolus, along with Cell Medica, becoming the first companies to agree to occupy space at the new, state-of-the-art CGT Catapult manufacturing centre
  • Co-location of Fisher BioServices’ CyroHub at the large-scale manufacturing centre
  • Development of novel bench-top thawing devices in collaboration with Asymptote
  • Continued development of relationships with organisations and companies outside of the UK, sharing expertise and technology with collaborators across the USA, Canada, China, Japan and South Korea

This latest report published by the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult demonstrates our important place in this dynamic and rapidly growing industry. We are encouraged to see the global standing of our sector highlighted by agreements in leading advanced therapy countries, like the US and Japan, along with highly innovative collaborators in the UK, from fledgling biotechs to big pharma giants. But there is still much we can do. Our CGT Catapult manufacturing centre in Stevenage, being completed this year, will serve as a vital bridge helping advanced therapy firms commercialise their treatments.

Keith Thompson, Chief Executive Officer

2017 has also seen both an increase in investment and an expansion in infrastructure to support the sector in the UK, and the Annual Review reveals that the CGT Catapult continues to be well placed to meet the upcoming needs of this burgeoning sector both from a manufacturing and technical expertise standpoint.

The £55 million, large-scale GMP Manufacturing Centre in Stevenage has received an additional £12 million investment from the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, allowing the Centre to double its capacity and offer more businesses – drawn to the advanced therapies cluster at the Stevenage BioScience Catalyst – further opportunities to accelerate clinical trials of cell therapy products towards global commercialisation.

This, combined with the cutting-edge research being conducted at its laboratories at Guy’s Hospital, London, is placing the CGT Catapult at the forefront of cell and gene therapy technology from both a manufacturing and research perspective.

These advanced, living medicines have a bright future not only in terms of their contribution to the UK economy but the benefit they will ultimately bring to patients worldwide who are in need of innovative therapy options which tackle complex and challenging diseases.

Keith Thompson, Chief Executive Officer

Read the Annual Review 2016/2017