CGT Catapult doubles capacity to accelerate manufacturing
Each six clean room modules can accommodate 20 parallel autologous cell processes or a bioreactor process of up to 1,000L for allogeneic cell or viral vector manufacture.
With construction of the modules completed, the Cell and Gene Therapy (CGT) Catapult expects the first companies to enter the new space towards the beginning of 2020.
A spokesperson for the organization told us that there has already been interest expressed from companies looking to occupy the space.
The center itself opened in April 2018 and has five companies working within it, with Adaptimmune, Autolus, Cell Medica, Freeline Therapeutics and TCR2 Therapeutics all located in the center.
The aim of the space is to provide infrastructure and expertise for early-stage companies to develop their manufacturing processes to be suitable for clinical and commercial manufacture.
Explaining further, the spokesperson said, “Companies have the opportunity to join a unique operational model whereby working collaboratively with us, they can optimize the development of their manufacturing process at scale – benefitting by our expertise in the required capabilities for manufacture at high throughput in a good manufacturing practice (GMP) environment, in terms of raw materials supply, QC testing, cryostorage, logistics, track and trace and integration into the wider supply chain.”
Having such expertise and raw materials close to hand helps the companies accelerate their manufacturing development, the spokesperson added.
The construction of the facility was supported by over £75m ($84m) from the UK government, as well as £3.36m (€3.8m) from the European Regional Development Fund and £12m (€13.57m) from the Medicine Manufacturing Industrial Challenge Fund.
Regarding the potential for further expansion, the spokesperson told us, “We are working with local partners, who have identified growth in cell and gene therapies as a strategic priority, on plans to provide more space and support for companies wishing to establish and expand their facilities.”
The growth in the cell and gene therapy space corresponds with a related growth in manufacturing employment and an overall increase in funding going to biotechs in the UK.