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Rentschler Biopharma to build new cell and gene therapy capabilities in the UK

Published on 11/02/21 at 10:56am

The Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult (CGT Catapult) and Rentschler Biopharma have announced that Rentschler will establish their manufacturing capability in advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs), including adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors for clinical trial supply, at the CGT Catapult site in Stevenage, UK.

Under the terms of the agreement, Rentschler will make a significant investment at the site over the next five years to set up their manufacturing capabilities. The company will leverage the CGT Catapult's expertise in ATMP manufacturing setup and technology development, as well as the cell and gene therapy cluster and ecosystem that has developed around Stevenage and across the UK.

The German company’s investment in the UK cell and gene therapy industry is expected to further accelerate the development of the vital infrastructure and skilled jobs needed to meet the rising demand for manufacturing capacity in the UK and globally, as well as streamline the supply chain for these advanced therapies. Currently, 27% of European ATMP companies are operating in the UK, and there are more than 90 advanced therapy developers.

The CGT Catapult manufacturing centre has been backed by over £75 million of funding, including investment from the UK government's Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy, Innovate UK, and from the European Regional Development Fund. Since it was announced, there has been over £1.1 billion of investment in the ATMP industry in its vicinity.

Dr Frank Mathias, CEO of Rentschler Biopharma, said: “We are excited to take this next big step in our evolution and address the growing industry demand for ATMP manufacturing capacity and viral vector supply. With the largest industry cluster for cell and gene therapies outside the US, the UK is an ideal location for us to establish our Centre of Excellence for cell and gene therapy.

“We look forward to working with the CGT Catapult as we invest in this growing field. They are well established in this important market, enabling us to immediately tap into the organisation's network and utilise the UK's strong expertise and supply chain in cell and gene therapy manufacturing.”

Matthew Durdy, CEO of the CGT Catapult, commented: “We are very pleased that Rentschler Biopharma, a global CDMO, has chosen to build their ATMP capacity in the UK, bringing in their expertise and investment.

“This will build new capacity to benefit the international ATMP supply chain and meet growing academic and commercial demand across the industry. As more companies from around the globe come to the UK, it demonstrates and enhances the attractiveness of its cell and gene therapy ecosystem as a place to develop new technologies and capabilities.”

Darcy Jimenez

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