cell_therapy_catapult photo 18.4.13cell_therapy_catapult logo 18.4.13The Cell Therapy Catapult is attending the BIO 2013 International Convention this week. Emma Palmer Foster, Strategic Communications Consultant, outlines why international partners looking to access European cell therapy markets and innovation ought to look to the UK.

The UK is a great place for the development of cell therapies, which have the potential to treat and cure many debilitating diseases. It has a strong academic and commercial early-stage research base, access to clinical trial infrastructure/patients within the NHS and regulatory expertise, and is the home of the European Medicines Agency. Those are some of the reasons why the UK Government’s Technology Strategy Board established the Cell Therapy Catapult as a centre of excellence in 2012, with the aim of catalysing the development of a strong industry by providing expert services in this area.

What’s more, the Cell Therapy Catapult has significant funds at its disposal – £70m over the first five years – to help tackle some of the major challenges companies and other organisations in this area face in translating potential treatments into something that’s properly ready to enter Phase III. (We’ve been open for business since the end of 2012, and are already seeing strong demand for our services.)

The Cell Therapy Catapult is tackling three sets of challenges experienced in the sector:

  • the business model – factors such as health economics and perceived investment risk
  • manufacturing & supply chain – issues like COGS, scale-up and delivery
  • clinical & regulatory – understanding the regulatory environment & accessing the NHS

That’s why the Cell Therapy Catapult is establishing expert teams and state-of-the art translational labs in these areas. With an anticipated headcount of 50 by the end of 2013, and approaching 100 at full capacity, we plan to be one of the largest commercially focused cell therapy organisations in the UK.  There’s a huge amount of flexibility in the way we work with clients, with the ability to undertake a range of projects, from three-month suitability studies through to 12-month platform projects and three-year clinical trials. There’s flexibility too in how we structure interactions, from contract development to collaborations, meaning there’s a variety of ways for you to access our services.

The Cell Therapy Catapult is looking forward to BIO 2013 as a great opportunity to talk to cell therapy companies about how to help with rapid European commercialisation, as well as access to innovation.

So come and talk to us if you’re interested in:

  • accessing the regulators and understanding the framework
  • accelerating clinical trials
  • establishing a European manufacturing base
  • sharing development costs with experts

The Cell Therapy Catapult will be part of the UK BioIndustry Association and UK Department of Trade and Industry delegation on stand 4441 – please come and meet us there. Or get in contact beforehand if you want to make an enquiry or join our mailing list.