The 7,200m2 site to be built in Stevenage - about 40 miles north of London - will be run by the UK Government-backed group the Cell Therapy Catapult (CTC), offering late-phase and commercial cell therapy manufacturing capabilities to UK-based SME biotech and life sciences companies.
While the centre was first announced in December 2014, today marks a milestone with the CTC being awarded planning permission to construct the £55 million large-scale GMP manufacturing centre by Stevenage Borough Council.
CEO Keith Thompson welcomed the council’s decision, saying the site “will advance the industry into becoming a world leader in advanced therapy development and commercialisation.”
He added: “The large-scale GMP manufacturing centre will provide global scientific and medical communities with the assistance they need to turn research into products that have the potential to address many unmet medical needs.”
Planned to open in 2017, the plant will be equipped with technology provided by GE Healthcare which pledged support for the project. Up to 150 jobs will be created at the site.
The CTC was established in 2012 to help grow the UK’s cell and gene therapy industry, and through centres such as this intends to bridge the gap between scientific research and full-scale commercialisation.
According to a recent CTC report, there has been a drop from 45% to 26% in available capacity which can be contracted out for cell therapy production since 2014, as a result of increased cell therapy development projects in the UK.