The U.K. government will allot £55 million (around $90.7 million) from its 2014/2015 budget for a new Cell Therapy Manufacturing Center. The Cell Therapy Catapult, a translational center of excellence, will manage the new Center, which is scheduled to open during 2016/17.

Officials at the Cell Therapy Catapult say that an analysis has shown that the U.K.’s small-scale academic facilities are an excellent source of materials for early-stage clinical trials. However, it is expected that this capacity will be full within 3–6 years as the industry’s pipeline matures. The Cell Therapy Manufacturing Center will be designed to provide the U.K. with the manufacturing facilities needed for later studies and commercialization, promoting retention of domestic expertise and jobs. In addition, many global cell therapy organizations with which the CT Catapult has engaged believe that a high-quality EU manufacturing base is essential for bringing their products to the European market, and this facility should also help to anchor their activities in the U.K., according to a spokesperson for the Cell Therapy Catapult.

The Center will leverage process development expertise at the CT Catapult. It is expected to create up to 100 jobs, and the process for choosing its location will be announced shortly. Forecasts indicate that firms using the center will generate £1.2 billion ($1.98 billion) of revenue by 2020 (80% via export).

“The decision to build the Cell Therapy Manufacturing Center is a recognition of the quality and growth potential of the U.K. cell therapy industry,” says Keith Thompson, CEO of the Cell Therapy Catapult. “It will be accessible to firms scaling up for Phase III trials and market supply, bridging the gap between early manufacturing and commercialization. We are delighted to be managing this initiative, which addresses one of the industry’s main barriers to growth.”

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