Cell and gene therapies are a revolution in medicine that allow a patient’s cells and tissues to be engineered to restore normal function and reverse the effects of disease.
These innovative therapies offer cures for previously untreatable illnesses such as leukaemia and blindness and have even been described as the future of the healthcare system.
The UK punches above its weight
With its world leading research base and top universities, the UK punches above its weight in the cell and gene therapy industry.
It has a global share of cell and gene therapy companies and clinical trials twice the share of its GDP.
Opportunity for UK to commercialise cell and gene therapy
There is a substantial opportunity for the UK to not only improve healthcare outcomes but also drive future economic growth by developing cell and gene therapies on a commercial scale.
By 2035, it is possible that the UK could have a 15% share of global activity, receive 10 billion in revenue and have created 18,000 high skilled jobs.
Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult transforming UK capability
After less than five years of operation, the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult has already delivered extensively on the commitment to transform the UK’s capability for innovation in cell and gene therapy.
Through its 1200m2 laboratories located in central London, over 120 industry specialists are able to work in collaboration with industry to overcome the barriers they are facing, enabling and accelerating growth.
As well as providing access to expert technical capabilities and equipment, the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult has also secured over £51 million of funding for the industry, and through collaborative research helped our partners take innovative ideas from concept to reality, as illustrated in these case studies.
CGT Catapult has also worked closely with industry stakeholders including NICE, EMA and MHRA shaping the environment to support the commercialisation of cell and gene therapies.
Moving away from the lab towards treating patients
The industry has grown tremendously since the Catapult’s inception, there are now 64 Advanced Therapy Medicinal Product (ATMP) companies in the UK compared with only 22 in 2012.
Not only has there been a dramatic increase in the number of companies but the clinical pipeline is evolving, moving away from the lab towards treating patients, clinical trials have seen growth of 180% since 2013, and there are now 59 clinical trial in progress compared with 21 trials in 2012.
Next challenge: support commercial supply
As the industry moves forward, the next challenge is to support commercial supply. Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult are building a large-scale GMP manufacturing centre in which we can collaborate with companies to develop their manufacturing systems and capabilities. The centre will be completed later in the year and Autolus and Cell Medica have already been announced as the first collaborators to enter the centre to support the manufacture of cell therapies.
Centre designed for the industry needs & potential for expansion
The centre has been specifically designed to meet the demands of the industry. The adaptable clean room design will allow companies to develop their manufacturing processes, whether autologous, allogenic or viral vector and the centre aims to meet the varying needs of individual collaborators.
The centre is also forward looking in design. Cell and gene therapy manufacturing is in its infancy and it is likely that as it matures, manufacturing processes will evolve and change. The centre is designed to accommodate up to 1000 litre single-use bioreactors or multiple automated autologous process, in addition to meeting the current demands of the industry.
As cell and gene therapy manufactures grow, the centre will further facilitate their expansion as processes can be replicated in further modules or in their own facility.
A support network of technology and service companies plus an established logistical supply route will also help ensure that companies utilising the centre can accelerate their programmes and establish both clinical and commercial manufacture from a single site.
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