Entry into cell and gene therapy
Rentschler Biopharma establishes Center of Excellence for cell and gene therapy in the UK, and will build new ATMP capacity at the site in Stevenage.
As stated in the company’s most recent press release, Rentschler Biopharma is establishing a Center of Excellence for cell and gene therapy in the UK. The contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO) for biopharmaceuticals will build new development and manufacturing capability in Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (ATMPs) – including Adeno-Associated-Virus Vectors for clinical trial supply – at the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult (CGT Catapult) site in Stevenage.
The newly formed UK subsidiary, Rentschler ATMP Ltd. is part of continuous innovation at Rentschler Biopharma and supports ongoing strategic international expansion. The Collaboration with the CGT Catapult, an independent centre of excellence to advance the growth of the UK cell and gene therapy industry, is to facilitate and accelerate the creation of this new initiative.
Setting up state-of-the-art ATMP manufacturing
According Dr. Frank Mathias, CEO of Rentschler Biopharma, their well-planned move into this growing area of biopharmaceuticals fits well with the company’s strategic plans to expand internationally.
The UK site is being set up at an already existing facility run by the CGT Catapult through a unique collaborative model. Over the next five years, the company headquartered in Laupheim (Germany) plans to make a significant investment at the site to set up state-of-the-art manufacturing of viral vectors for clinical supply, and expects to be ready for cGMP manufacturing by the first half of 2022.
The leading CDMO will leverage the CGT Catapult's expertise in ATMP manufacturing setup and technology development, as well as the cell and gene therapy cluster and ecosystem that has developed around Stevenage and across the UK.
Growing industry demand for ATMP development and manufacturing capacity
With the Center of Excellence and the set up of manufacturing capabilities, the Rentschler Biopharma, will address the gap in capacity and support for early-stage innovators in cell and gene therapy. The company's investment is expected to make a major contribution to meeting the demand from UK and international researchers for suitable manufacturing capability.
Dr. Frank Mathias said: "We are excited to take this next big step in our evolution and address the growing industry demand for ATMP manufacturing capacity and viral vector supply. With the largest industry cluster for cell and gene therapies outside the US, the UK is an ideal location for us to establish our Center of Excellence for cell and gene therapy. We look forward to working with the CGT Catapult as we invest in this growing field. They are well established in this important market, enabling us to immediately tap into the organisation's network and utilise the UK's strong expertise and supply chain in cell and gene therapy manufacturing."
Matthew Durdy, CEO of the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, commented: "We are very pleased that Rentschler Biopharma, a global CDMO, has chosen to build their ATMP capacity in the UK, bringing in their expertise and investment. This will build new capacity to benefit the international ATMP supply chain and meet growing academic and commercial demand across the industry. As more companies from around the globe come to the UK, it demonstrates and enhances the attractiveness of its cell and gene therapy ecosystem as a place to develop new technologies and capabilities."
Investment in the UK cell and gene therapy industry
This development will further strengthen the UK CGT-ecosystem through the addition of Rentschler Biopharma's more than 40 years of experience and solid reputation in the development and manufacturing of biologics for both clinical and commercial supply.
The investment in the UK cell and gene therapy industry announced today is expected to further accelerate the development of the vital infrastructure and skilled jobs needed to meet the rising demand for manufacturing capacity in the UK and globally, as well as streamline the supply chain for these advanced therapies. Currently, 27% of European ATMP companies are operating in the UK, and there are more than 90 advanced therapy developers. The last year has also seen a 50% increase in the number of ATMP clinical trials being run in the UK, accounting for 12% of global ATMP clinical trials, and these numbers are predicted to increase further.
The CGT Catapult manufacturing centre has been backed by over £75m of funding, including investment from the UK Government's Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Innovate UK and from the European Regional Development Fund. Since it was announced, there has been over £1.1bn of investment in the ATMP industry in its vicinity.
Rentschler BioPharma. (2021, February 10). Rentschler Biopharma entry into cell and gene therapy [Joint press release].
Rentschler BioPharma. (2021, February 10). Rentschler Biopharma establishes Center of Excellence for cell and gene therapy in the UK [Press release].