The Government-backed Cell Therapy Catapult has begun the construction for its cell and gene therapy manufacturing centre.
The construction of the Cell Therapy Catapult manufacturing centre in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, is due for completion and opening in 2017. When completed, the venue will be spread over a 7,200 square metres and will directly create up to 150 specialist jobs.
The Cell Therapy Catapult is the UK organisation dedicated to the growth of the UK cell and gene therapy industry by bridging the gap between scientific research and commercialisation. Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, has committed £55 million to the Cell Therapy Catapult for the creation of the centre.
Innovate UK chief executive Ruth McKernan says: “This pioneering new manufacturing facility will be a huge asset for UK life sciences businesses and will act as a magnet for inward investment, further reinforcing the UK as a global leader in cell and gene therapies.”
George Freeman, Minister for Life Sciences, says: “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.”
He went on to say: “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.”
While Keith Thompson, chief executive of the Cell Therapy Catapult adds: “Initiating construction is a major milestone for the Cell Therapy Catapult.”