Innovate UK welcomes global firm to Cell & Gene Catapult centre

An image of a woman in lab wear testing a sample.

TCR2 Therapeutics joins advanced therapy companies Adaptimmune, Autolus, Cell Medica, and Freeline.

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, welcomed today the announcement that immunotherapy company, TCR2 Therapeutics, is to become the first US organisation to work with the Cell and Gene Therapy (CGT) Catapult at its Stevenage manufacturing centre. TCR2 has selected the facility to establish a site for global manufacturing and capability development to advance novel T cell receptor therapies for patients suffering from cancer.

Dr Ian Campbell, Interim Executive Chair, Innovate UK said:

By choosing to work with the Cell & Gene Therapy Catapult manufacturing centre, TCR2 Therapeutics demonstrates to the world that the UK is a global leader in this sector. Advanced cell and gene therapies show great promise in treating conditions such as cancer. It is vital to support research and development that could result in huge improvements in patient outcomes.

Boosted by investment through the government’s modern Industrial Strategy and the life sciences sector deal, the UK can realise both the commercial and societal benefits from these advances in this vital and thriving sector.

Dr Kath Mackay, Interim Director – Ageing Society, Health & Nutrition, Innovate UK, added:

The decision by TCR2 Therapeutics to establish a presence at the Cell & Gene Therapy Catapult manufacturing centre is a major international vote of confidence in the UK life sciences sector. The Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult manufacturing centre is a world-leading facility, bringing the manufacture of pioneering treatments closer to patients. The decision recognises the level and maturity of government investment into UK manufacturing capability and the associated supply chain.

UK Research and Innovation, through the government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, backs this crucial component of the modern Industrial Strategy, building the jobs and industries of tomorrow. We have underlined our support by also funding three new Advanced Therapy Treatment Centres to complement the work of the manufacturing centre. Working across the UK, this network will support the roll-out of cell and gene therapies, bringing together expert clinicians, researchers, scientists, developers and private companies to demonstrate the benefits for patients.

The CGT Catapult manufacturing centre in Stevenage, opened in April 2018, is backed by more than £60 million of government investment, including funding from Innovate UK and the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF). TCR2 joins advanced therapy companies Adaptimmune, Autolus, Cell Medica, and Freeline.

Working with the manufacturing centre are the three UK Advanced Therapies Treatment Centres, which were awarded £21 million in through the ISCF Medicines Manufacturing challenge. The centres are collaborative ventures between industry, academic and NHS partners. They comprise the Innovate Manchester Advanced Therapy Centre Hub (iMATCH), the Midlands-Wales Advanced Therapy Treatment Centre (MW-ATTC, comprising Birmingham, Wales and Nottingham) and the Northern Alliance Advanced Therapies Treatment Centre (NAATTC, comprising Scotland, Newcastle and Leeds).

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