UK Chancellor announces £55m Cell Therapy Manufacturing Centre

Will create 100 jobs although the location is yet to be announced

The UK Government has pledged £55m of funding to build a large-scale Cell Therapy Manufacturing Centre in the UK.

In today's Budget, Chancellor George Osborne also announced a number of other measures that should benefit companies in the bioscience sector including an increase in the R&D Tax Credit for loss making SMEs.

The new Centre, which is expected to open in 2016/17, will be managed by the Cell Therapy Catapult, which recently moved into new premises at Guy's Hospital in London. It will provide vital large-scale manufacturing facilities, helping the country to retain manufacturing activity, attract inward investment and boost exports. The first such UK facility, it is a recognition of the potential of the UK cell therapy community.

Steve Bates, Chief Executive of the BioIndustry Association (BIA), said the announcement was 'fantastic news' and the Centre would help establish the UK as a global centre for cell therapy manufacturing.

'This will ensure that this high value manufacturing industry of the future will reside in the UK and so will the value and jobs created by it,' he said.

As for the increase in Tax Credit, Bates said for innovative equity backed bioscience companies the R&D Tax Credit regime is the bedrock of government support.

'Increasing the rate of payable credit under the scheme from 11% to 14.5% for such companies is commendable and shows serious support for innovators,' he said.

This will ensure that this high value manufacturing industry of the future will reside in the UK

Analysis by the Cell Therapy Catapult and others has shown that the UK's small-scale academic facilities are an excellent source of materials for early-stage clinical trials. But this capacity is expected to be full within 3–6 years as the industry's pipeline matures.

The Cell Therapy Manufacturing Centre will provide the UK with the manufacturing facilities needed for later studies and commercialisation, retaining domestic expertise and jobs. In addition, many global cell therapy organisations believe that a high-quality EU manufacturing base is essential for bringing their products to the European market, and this facility should also help to anchor their activities in the UK.

The Cell Therapy Manufacturing Centre is expected to create up to 100 jobs, and the process for choosing its location will be announced shortly. Forecasts indicate that firms using the centre will generate £1.2bn of revenue by 2020 (80% through export).

'The decision to build the Cell Therapy Manufacturing Centre is a recognition of the quality and growth potential of the UK cell therapy industry,' said Keith Thompson, CEO of the Cell Therapy Catapult.

'It will be accessible to firms scaling up for Phase III trials and market supply, bridging the gap between early manufacturing and commercialisation. We are delighted to be managing this initiative, which addresses one of the industry's main barriers to growth.'

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