Cell Therapy Catapult: a global leader in bridging the translational gap of new cell therapies.
Yesterday morning at the World Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine Congress 2013, Keith Thompson, Cell Therapy Catapult CEO, gave us some insights on what Cell Therapy Catapult achievements have been so far and on which are its future projections.
As part of the seven Catapult centres network, the Cell Therapy Catapult was established by the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) in 2012 to bridge the translational gap between academic invention and commercialisation of new cell therapies and expand the UK cell therapy industry; its launch was triggered last year after the Hauser Report assigned Â£200m to the centre.
Based at the Guy's Hospital in London Bridge, the Board Members and the Executive Team are now in place. To cover all the industry most challenging areas, they are organized in three main departments: Business Development, Process Development and Clinical Operations and Regulatory Affairs. Funding is provided in the measure of Â£70m over the next five years from TSB, Â£10m pa from other grant funding and another Â£10m pa from industry contracts. Their business plan excludes aggressive intellectual property patenting which will also allow the internal revenues protection.
The expected outputs are:
- Creation of investible therapies (de-risked for further investment and cost effective);
- Novel technologies licensed to cell therapy companies;
- Contract research which enhances capability of the industries;
- Support with clinical know-how and GMP infrastructures;
- Assistance over industry barriers with business expertise;
- Opportunity for international collaborations.
On this last point, Mr Thompson was particularly positive and clearly stated that Cell Therapy Catapult will be a global leader provided that the cell therapy industry and the international regulatory bodies will work as a community, forecasting a parallelism with the massive success that the Â£10bn monoclonal antibody industry has been. Alongside to Catapult own projects and contract development, corporate investments and industrial collaborations are indeed key strength in the vision of the Cell Therapy Catapult, as the integration of its capabilities to the clients know-how will develop better outcomes. Only today the partnership with GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK) has been released, which will investigate potential collaborations in a range of aspects relevant to the development of cell therapies.
Outsourcing is also part of the plan, and there will be the establishment of CMOs in the UK partnerships. This will enable Cell Therapy Catapult to sustain the development and commercialisation of new cell therapies, as well as the technologies for manufacturing, quality control, potency and efficiency.
"We are looking to develop 4-6 successful clinical trial projects in the next five years" Mr. Thompson announced, and the aim seems achievable as they are going to cover all the main cell types platforms, including hESCs, iPSC, and hMSCs.
Guest blog provided by Giulia Detela, UCL
Cell Therapy Catapult also joined CCRM as sponsors of the evening drinks reception.
For more information about the World Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine Congress, please visit the website >