The Cell Therapy Catapult, the UK organisation dedicated to the growth of the UK cell and gene therapy industry by bridging the gap between scientific research and commercialisation, today announces the release of their 2015 Annual Review.
The second review covers the 12 months from April 2014 to 2015, during which the Cell Therapy Catapult reached all key milestones and delivered a number of high quality projects. These achievements include:
Rapidly growing a project portfolio – In November 2014 the first clinical trial run by the Cell Therapy Catapult commenced with the first patient receiving an experimental T-cell therapy. In addition, the Cell Therapy Catapult launched 20 new project collaborations addressing cell, and gene modified cell therapies and their underlying technologies. These involved 30 different UK and international partners, attracting funding totalling £17.3 million. 45 smaller projects to assist clients’ product development and technologies were also executed.
Building infrastructure – The UK government’s Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills opened the Cell Therapy Catapult headquarters at the Tower Wing of Guy’s Hospital in London in June 2014. The headquarters include 1,200m2 of state-of-the-art development laboratories. The Cell Therapy Catapult also completed the venue selection process for its £55 million, 7,200m2 world-leading, large-scale GMP manufacturing centre. The venue selected was the Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst. The centre is scheduled to open in 2017.
Growing cell and gene therapy expertise – The Cell Therapy Catapult hired its 100th professional in a team now covering an entire range of skills from clinical and process development to healthcare economics.
Influencing – The Cell Therapy Catapult played a key role in the UK’s Regenerative Medicine Expert Group with a focus on regulation, manufacturing, clinical delivery and reimbursement. The UK government accepted all key recommendations and these are being progressed. The annually refreshed clinical, preclinical and manufacturing databases developed by the Cell Therapy Catapult are now an important resource for the industry. The Cell Therapy Catapult continues to put the UK at the centre of attention in advanced therapies hosting 81 delegations ranging from government officials, academics and industry from the UK and internationally.
“The Cell Therapy Catapult second annual review highlights a high number of key achievements across a variety of areas that will have a direct impact upon both health and the economy in the UK,” said Keith Thompson, CEO, the Cell Therapy Catapult. “Supported by Innovate UK, we have enhanced the Cell Therapy Catapult in its second year from a fledgling organisation to one capable of tackling scientific, technical, clinical, regulatory and business barriers to the development of the industry. We will continue to benchmark our achievements and successes against the impact on creation and expansion of the cell and gene therapy industry and, of course, on patients’ lives.”