The government-funded Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult opened its $83.8 million manufacturing plant in Stevenage, U.K., designed to support the global gene therapy industry.
The 7,200-square-meter building will provide the advanced therapeutics industry with cells and genes to be used in clinical studies.
Cell and gene therapies have the potential to repair, replace, regenerate and re-engineer genes, cells and tissues to restore normal function or enhance their ability to fight diseases, like cancer.
“This is an area of medicine that has shown potential for decades and we now need new manufacturing technology like never before,” Keith Thompson, CGT Catapult’s chief executive, said in a statement. “The center is a major statement of intent and a springboard for industry in its global development. The launch of this important facility pushes the agenda forward and accelerates the timeframe for bringing these living medicines to patients.”
Initial partners in the development of the center included Autolus, Cell Medica, AdaptImmune, Freeline and Thermo Fisher Scientific.
The plant was constructed specifically for large-scale cell and gene therapy manufacturing and features adaptable clean room design that allows for the development of autologous or allogenic manufacturing processes, as well as viral vectors.
The facility employs about 150 manufacturing specialists, and is expected to create more positions in the coming years as more companies are attracted to the site, according to CTG Catapult.