Press release: Construction completed on expansion phase, doubling capacity of Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult large scale manufacturing centre in Stevenage

Completion builds on the success of first six clean rooms which have seen exceptional demand. The manufacturing centre’s additional six modules will continue to accelerate the growth of the industry in the UK. 

Today, the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult (CGT Catapult) celebrates the completion of six additional modules at its manufacturing centre in Stevenage. The success of the centre has seen the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult accelerate the planned build-out of the expansion phase with an additional six clean rooms in the already constructed space on the second floor of the building.

The centre has been fully operational since April 2018 and achieved MHRA licensure in August 2018. Depending on the process, each module can accommodate 20 parallel autologous cell processes or a bioreactor process up to 1,000L bioreactors for allogeneic cell or viral vector manufacture. The first collaborators are expected to start benefitting from this new space at the beginning of 2020.

Backed by over £75 million of funding, including investment from the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund; the department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy, from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, and from the European Regional Development Fund, the centre is providing the infrastructure and expertise to enable companies to develop their manufacturing capabilities and systems for large scale, commercial cell and gene therapy supply. Companies currently collaborating at the centre are Adaptimmune, Autolus, Cell Medica, Freeline Therapeutics and TCR2 Therapeutics.

Located within the rapidly growing European cell and gene therapy cluster in Stevenage, the manufacturing centre, alongside wider CGT Catapult initiatives, reinforces the UK Government’s ambition to support the rapidly growing global cell and gene therapy industry in the United Kingdom.

CGT Catapult was awarded an additional £3.36m in funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and £12m Medicines Manufacturing Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund to further support this expansion.

We are very pleased to be able to double the existing capacity of the CGT Catapult manufacturing centre with help from our partners Innovate UK and the European Regional Development Fund. The growth of this centre is integral to the success of the industry in the UK, and we can now collaborate potentially with up to a further six companies to support them in developing their GMP manufacturing processes, preparing for large scale and commercial supply. The build out of this phase has been rapid using pre-prepared fallow space and off-site prefabricated building techniques. The new capacity will come on line quickly, leveraging the existing MHRA licences, installed quality and operational systems alongside the expertise developed by the Catapult and our collaborators at the centre.

Keith Thompson, CEO, Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult

In its first year and half, the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult manufacturing centre has gone from strength to strength and has established itself as a crucial part of the UK’s medicines infrastructure. This world-leading centre is bringing manufacturing of pioneering treatments closer to patients and will complement the new Advanced Therapy Treatment Centres. By bridging the gap between scientific research and commercialisation of the medicines of the future, this centre, which we are proud to support, will play an ever-greater role in this vital sector.

Dr Ian Campbell, Interim Executive-Chair, Innovate UK, for UK Research and Innovation

European Regional Development Fund

The project has received £3.36m of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit