The cell and gene therapy production site will measure 7,200m2 and is expected to open in 2017. The founders say the site will create up to 150 specialist jobs “and many more additional roles in the cluster that grows around it.”
The facility will partner with pharma companies to manufacture cell therapies for late-stage clinical trials and commercial supply of advanced therapeutic medicinal products, including biologics.
The Stevenage site is one of several built in the UK by Cell Therapy Catapult for collaboration with the life science industry and academia on manufacturing, processs development, clinical trials and other areas.
Innovate UK, a British agency for business growth, contributed the £55m of funding to the Cell Therapy Catapult for the centre’s construction. The site will also attract investment to the UK, the government has said.
“The Cell Therapy Catapult cell and gene therapy manufacturing centre will be the world’s first facility of its kind. I am very proud that it will be built in the UK,” said George Freeman, the UK minister for life sciences.
“The UK is at the leading edge of the cell and gene therapy industry, with a disproportionate share of both world leading scientists and new developments in the field. It will also contribute to considerable additional inward investment to the UK. This has created an advantage upon which the country has to continue to capitalise. The centre will contribute to the development of a large scale industry in the UK and the development of a cell and gene therapy cluster that will deliver both health and wealth to the UK.”
‘Economies of scale’
The site, in the south of the UK near Heathrow Airport, “will enable time critical transport of the cells of patients to and from the developer facility,” said Cell Therapy Catapult. CEO Keith Thompson commented:
“Manufacturing continues to involve significant international logistical and regulatory challenges to the development of cell therapies. The manufacturing centre will be a game changer for the UK cell therapy industry, as well as the future international availability of therapies for patients. Both UK and international companies will now be able to plan and spread costs via economies of scale for their manufacturing for clinical trials for the UK, European and global markets.”