UK GMP manufacturing survey shows strong network of early-stage facilities

The Cell Therapy Catapult, which is focused on the development of the UK cell therapy industry to increase the nation’s health and wealth, has published its 2014 ‘Cell therapy GMP manufacturing in the UK’ survey1, which highlights the strong network of facilities carrying out early-stage manufacture. The survey, initiated in 2013 and updated this year, has helped to inform the Cell Therapy Catapult Manufacturing Approach for the UK1, details of which are also announced today. Developing a strong, competitive UK manufacturing base, supporting cell therapy development from early research to late clinical trial and commercial supply, is key for a thriving UK industry.

Through its two-pronged Manufacturing Approach for the UK1, the Cell Therapy Catapult will promote and develop the existing early phase manufacturing network, augmented by the recently announced large-scale manufacturing centre, which is expected to be operational in 2017. Liaising with trade and governmental bodies, it will promote the network both domestically and internationally. In order to partner effectively with the early-stage network, enabling effective collaboration, the Cell Therapy Catapult is establishing via an EU tender process1 a framework of outsource providers, to be called upon as projects require.

The 2014 ‘Cell therapy GMP manufacturing in the UK’ capability and capacity report which will be updated annually, highlights 13 sites with a range of technical expertise. They have in main been established in the NHS and UK academia to facilitate the transfer of academic research into the clinic, and have developed a strong track record. In total, they have 56 clean rooms, employing 111 full-time and 43 part-time staff. Details of each site are given in the report, which also covers the range of cell and process types covered, geographical distribution and expansion plans.

Keith Thompson, CEO of the Cell Therapy Catapult, said, ‘The UK has a fantastic resource in its network of early-stage manufacturing facilities, and we look forward to working with them on innovative cell therapies as well as sharing good practice. Given their complexity, manufacturing centres are rarely portable and help investment ‘stick’, leading to the retention of significant economic benefit in the UK.’

1 Please go to our website for the 2014 ‘Cell therapy GMP manufacturing in the UK’ survey, the Cell Therapy Catapult Manufacturing Approach for the UK and details of the tender process, including a briefing for interested parties on June 6 2014