Clusters, megadeals, "Cellicon Valley" and the "Golden Triangle"

16-Feb-2022

Dr David Seaward, 3P founder and Projects Director explains that whenever new technologies emerge, there are typically clusters of innovator companies

Clusters, megadeals,

Think about the first industrial revolution (1760-1830). which witnessed the exploitation of iron, coal and textiles in Britain. The world's first manufacturing town. owing its existence to that first paradigm shift in production, is Birmingham (now laying claim as the UK's second city). It's only 20 miles north of 3P's facility and, even now, some 200 years later, its industrial heritage lives on.

Similarly, California in the US-spawned Silicon Valley, where the silicon-based integrated circuit, the microprocessor and the microcomputer were all originally developed. The subsequently generated wealth has meant that Silicon Valley remains home to many of the world's largest high-tech corporations and thousands of start-ups.

So, where are the ATMP clusters? Currently. the two most dominant western countries in terms of ATMP development are the US and UK. Indeed, the area around Philadelphia. PA. is now known as "Cellicon Valley"...an obvious nod to Silicon Valley. The term was first coined by Tmunity Therapeutics' co-founder in response to Philadelphia's gene and cell therapy development stronghold in the US.

In the UK, the area formed geographically by London, Oxford and Cambridge is known as the "Golden Triangle." Within it sits the GlaxoSmithKline site in Stevenage. part of which was redeveloped to be the UK government's Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult network. As intended, access to skilled pharmaceutical staff and lab space has acted as a catalyst to approximately £1.6 billion of ATMP investment within this zone.

Furthermore, it has recently been announced that the UK government will further fund the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult's training centre and the UK's Precision Health Technologies Accelerator, both of which will be based in Birmingham to capitalise on the expertise at Birmingham University. The location. availability of world-class scientists and lab capacity will naturally accelerate the involvement of the West Midlands within the ATMP sector, which is already a leader in clinical trials work.

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