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11 March, 2021 - 13:28 By Tony Quested

GSK adds manufacturing muscle through Stevenage expansion

Global healthcare heavyweight GSK is expanding its clinical trial manufacturing capacity for cell and gene therapy through the specialist CGT Catapult facility in Stevenage.

Besides proprietary power the move also brings additional expertise to the collaborators already based at the Catapult.

The initiative enables GSK to improve its GMP cell processing network to advance its early stage pipeline and streamline technical transfer. 

It also highlights the opportunity offered by the UK CGT ecosystem, and by the unique CGT Catapult model, in accelerating the setup of Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (ATMP) manufacturing at scale.

The UK has more than 90 ATMP therapy developers and in 2020 saw an increase of 48 per cent in the UK GMP manufacturing space for cell and gene therapies. 

This increase also reflected the expansion of the CGT Catapult facility in Stevenage with six additional cleanrooms which enabled this new agreement.

Tony Wood, senior VP, Medicinal Science and Technology of GSK said: “The UK already has significant capabilities in cell and gene therapy and this agreement illustrates how strategic investments by GSK can make them even stronger. 

“Working more closely with CGT Catapult will help us advance our promising cell and gene therapy programmes, and bring these transformative medicines more quickly to the patients who desperately need them.”

Matthew Durdy, the Catapult’s CEO added: “The move by a leading pharmaceutical company like GSK to establish ATMP manufacturing capabilities at the CGT Catapult facility in Stevenage highlights the UK’s globally leading position for large and smaller organisations alike to develop, manufacture and deliver cell and gene therapies. 

With a range of collaborators already based in the facility, we look forward to participating in the collective innovation onsite to pioneer the growth in scale of advanced therapy manufacturing.”

Expansion of the Catapult facility in Stevenage has received £3.36 million  funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.  

This is on top of the £12m awarded by the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, part of the Government’s modern Industrial Strategy.

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