Facilities are in place for early stage clinical trials but most are based in universities or hospitals, and commercial scale manufacturing is yet to come on-stream
The UK Cell Therapy Catapult has published its annual survey of the GMP licensed cell and gene manufacturing capability and capacity in the country, showing growth in the cell therapy industry in the year to April 2015.
Key findings include a 25 percent increase in the number of staff employed at cell therapy facilities, the coming on-stream of two additional cell therapy manufacturing facilities and a 16 percent growth in the number of clean-rooms.
As the report highlights, spare capacity not already committed to manufacturing has decreased from 45 percent to 26 percent, indicating the expanded capacity is rapidly filling up. This is reflected in a 24 percent rise in the number of cell and gene therapy clinical trials being carried out in the UK.
In addition to the new cell therapy facilities three dedicated gene therapy centres opened their doors during the year.
The survey shows the UK has a strong manufacturing base to underpin the translation of early phase academic research into the clinic. However, there is limited commercial-scale capability.
This is the 2nd annual survey undertaken by the Cell Therapy Catapult. Keith Thompson, Chief Executive of the Catapult, said, “This report clearly demonstrates that the UK’s cell and gene therapy industry is not only in a healthy state, but expanding and creating high-value jobs.”
“The UK is the place to do translational research and commercialise products,” Thompson said. “The Cell Therapy Catapult’s large-scale GMP manufacturing centre, coming on-stream in 2017, will provide a step change in available capacity.”