The Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult (CGT Catapult), an independent centre for advancing the UK’s cell and gene therapy industry, and Rentschler Biopharma, a global contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO) for biopharmaceuticals, have announced that Rentschler Biopharma will establish its 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.
Under the terms of the agreement, Rentschler Biopharma will make a significant investment at the site over the next five years to set up their manufacturing capabilities, benefitting from the expertise and unique collaborative model provided by the CGT Catapult. The company’s investment is expected to make a major contribution to meeting the demand from UK and international researchers for suitable manufacturing capability. This development will further strengthen the UK ecosystem through the addition of Rentschler Biopharma’s more than 40 years of experience and solid reputation in the development and manufacturing of biologics for both clinical and commercial supply. 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.
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 Cell and Gene Therapy 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.”
The 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 last year has also seen a 50% increase in the number of ATMP clinical trials being run in the UK, accounting for 12% of global ATMP clinical trials, and these numbers are predicted to increase further.