Press release: CGT Catapult to target a barrier to the rapid expansion of the industry, by developing analytics for high throughput quality control

£2.9m funding from the Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership will support the delivery of new analytical technologies, facilitating the growth and delivery scale required for adoption of personalised medicines.

CGT Catapult today announced that they will expand to allow the establishment of high throughput, innovative analytical technologies to be used in the quality control (QC) of cell and gene therapies. This project will receive £2.9m Local Growth Funding from the Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and will support collaborators at the CGT Catapult manufacturing centre as they scale-up their manufacturing processes for clinical trial and commercial supply.

Cell and gene therapies are becoming increasingly personalised with treatments being developed and tailored for patients. Often these therapies also have a short shelf life, making the analytical technologies for QC ever more complex. Combined with the exceptional growth seen in the industry this increases the need for cutting-edge analytical QC provision that is rapid, low footprint and cost-efficient.

This funding will form part of a £5.9m project, which will allow the CGT Catapult manufacturing centre to develop high throughput QC provisions, including the required analytical equipment, monitoring systems and IT infrastructure. The capacity of the existing Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) warehouse will be expanded to meet increased material flows and monitoring and data management capacity will be increased. The Stevenage based centre was opened in April 2018 and is backed by investment from multiple sources totalling over £60 million, comprising sums from the ISCF; from the Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy; and from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency.

We have seen immense growth in the cell and gene therapy industry, in the last year alone manufacturing space has increased by 60%. Manufacturing these new personalised Advanced Therapies at commercial scale needs new high throughput analytical techniques to ensure quality control does not create a hold-up in getting the therapies to patients.

Through the development and delivery of new analytical technologies, we will help ensure that cell and gene therapy developers are able to tailor, control and release their products rapidly and efficiently.

Keith Thompson, Chief Executive Officer, CGT Catapult

This investment will help commercialise the development of potentially life-saving therapies and further strengthen Stevenage’s position at the heart of the UK’s life science industry. This is a prime example of how we are taking the Industrial Strategy forward by ensuring our globally significant cell and gene therapy cluster continues to go from strength to strength.

Paul Witcombe, Head of Enterprise and Innovation at Hertfordshire LEP