New £55m cell therapy manufacturing centre to be built in Stevenage, UK

Will open in 2017 and create up to 150 jobs

A new £55m cell therapy manufacturing centre in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, UK, is set to create 150 jobs.

The firm Cell Therapy Catapult is planning to build the manufacturing centre on the Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst campus. Forecasts suggest that firms using the centre will generate £1.2bn of revenue by 2020 (80% through export).

UK Business Secretary Vince Cable said cell therapy 'is at the very cutting edge of medical research, and is using our own cells in the fight against life-threatening diseases including cancer. This state of the art facility in Stevenage will ensure Britain can be a real leader in this industry'.

The UK Cell Therapy Manufacturing Centre, expected to open in 2017, will be managed by the Cell Therapy Catapult and will be used for the manufacture of late phase clinical trial and commercial supply of advanced medicines including cell and gene therapies.

Keith Thompson, CEO of the Cell Therapy Catapult said: 'This facility will complement the existing UK capability, enabling companies to operate at the scale needed for Phase III clinical trials, and we look forward to working with global scientific and medical communities to assist in their research into products that have the potential to address many unmet medical needs.'

GE Healthcare also welcomed the announcement of the new centre. CEO Kieran Murphy said: 'The clinical science in cell therapy is making significant strides, and there is no doubt about the consensus: this is set to revolutionise medicine.

'The toughest nut for cell therapy companies to crack is to scale-up manufacturing and subsequent distribution of these therapies so they are affordable and accessible to patients globally; this manufacturing centre will help companies to crack that nut.'

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