£50 million Technology and Innovation Centre in Cell Therapy to come to London

£50 million Technology and Innovation Centre in Cell Therapy to come to London

06 Dec 2011

The Technology Strategy Board has announced further details about its Technology and Innovation Centre in Cell Therapy. The new centre will support the development and commercialisation of cell therapies and advanced therapeutics, as well as the underpinning technologies for manufacturing, quality control, safety and efficiency. It will receive £10 million per annum (up to £50 million over the next five-year period) funding from the Technology Strategy Board in collaboration with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. 

In consultation with industry, the Technology Strategy Board highlighted London as the most suitable location for the centre. The capital was chosen due to its rich cluster of hospitals and clinical infrastructure, logistics, universities, talent and its reputation as an international business hub with proximity to the supporting financial sector.

The Technology Strategy Board will establish an interim steering group, comprising of members of the Technology Strategy Board governing board and industry partners. For a limited time, the Technology Strategy Board will work with the interim steering group to appoint a leadership team and board for the centre and help shape the direction and operational vision for the centre moving forward. The centre will also draw out and integrate the contributions of leading academic researchers in Universities including Cambridge, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Loughborough and University College London.

Cell therapies are best defined as the use of living cells as, or incorporated into, a medicinal product and they can have numerous uses including:

• Enabling regeneration of cells tissues or organs (regenerative medicine)
• Delivery vehicles for other treatments (e.g. gene therapy)
• Modulating the immune system to treat cancers and infections.

Iain Gray the Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board said:
“The cell therapy industry is expected to be worth £3.1billion by 2014 with even greater growth predicted beyond that. With an established technology and innovation centre in Cell Therapy, the UK will be ideally positioned to gain a substantial share of this young industry due to its leading position in the science of stem cells and regenerative medicine, its supportive regulatory environment, the NHS as a potential lead market, access to mature capital markets and established pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device and blood transfusion industry sectors”.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said:
“This £50 million investment in a cell therapy technology and innovation centre is great news for London and for the growth of stem cell research in the UK.  We need to provide businesses with the opportunity to turn their innovations into commercial products that can change the face of science and technology and help kick start the economy.

“A dedicated centre will provide opportunities to deliver major health benefits to the public by developing cell therapies which could transform the lives of people with serious or chronic illnesses, such as Parkinson’s disease.”

Minister of State for Universities and Science, David Willetts said:
“Cell-based therapies have the potential to bring huge benefits to patients. The UK should be at the forefront of this exciting area, which will boost our economy as well as save lives.”

Joint chair of the interim steering group, Ian Shott said:
“There are many internationally recognised factors that make the UK the right environment for research in Cell Therapy. The centre will play a critical role in the successful commercial development of these therapies.”
As well as receiving funding from the Technology Strategy Board, direct contracts with UK business will form a significant part of the overall funding for the centre  (1/3). The Centre will also be well positioned to secure funding from competitive Research and Development (R&D) grants (1/3), including EU funding.

View the press release including editors notes here

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Last updated on Monday 20 February 2012 at 15:10

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