The first such UK facility, it is a recognition of the quality and potential of the UK cell therapy community, and will have £55M of funding from 2014/15.
Analysis by the Cell Therapy Catapult and others has shown that the UK's small-scale academic facilities are an excellent source of materials for early-stage clinical trials. However, it is expected that this capacity will be full within 3-6 years as the industry's pipeline matures. The Cell Therapy Manufacturing Centre provides the UK with the manufacturing facilities needed for later studies and commercialisation, promoting retention of domestic expertise and jobs. In addition, many global cell therapy organisations with which the CT Catapult has engaged believe that a high-quality EU manufacturing base is essential for bringing their products to the European market, and this facility should also help to anchor their activities in the UK.
The Cell Therapy Manufacturing Centre will leverage process development expertise at the CT Catapult, based on innovative modular designs. It is expected to create up to 100 jobs, and the process for choosing its location will be announced shortly. Forecasts indicate that firms using the Cell Therapy Manufacturing Centre will generate £1.2bn of revenue by 2020 (80% via export).
Keith Thompson, CEO of the Cell Therapy Catapult, said, 'The decision to build the Cell Therapy Manufacturing Centre is a recognition of the quality and growth potential of the UK cell therapy industry. It will be accessible to firms scaling up for Phase III trials and market supply, bridging the gap between early manufacturing and commercialisation. We are delighted to be managing this initiative, which addresses one of the industry's main barriers to growth, as recognised by the recent House Lords Science and Technology Committee report. Thanks are due to the cell therapy community, which contributed to our manufacturing analysis, and we continue to work together to generate UK health and wealth.'
Commenting on the Budget, Iain Gray, Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board, said: 'Today's announcement is a positive endorsement from Government of the rapid progress Catapults are making in helping UK businesses accelerate the commercialisation of new and innovative technologies.'