Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult to play significant role in establishing one of the largest life sciences campuses in Europe

pharmafile | February 8, 2023 | News story | Business Services  

London, 8th February 2023: The Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult (CGT Catapult), an independent innovation and technology organisation specialising in the advancement of cell and gene therapies, today announces its involvement in the development of a major new campus for life science businesses in Stevenage, Hertfordshire. Today’s announcement from the CGT Catapult follows the announcement by UBS Asset Management’s Real Estate & Private Markets and Reef Group in July 2022 that they intend to invest £900m in a joint venture to develop a new life sciences campus in Stevenage.


The new campus extension will deliver one of the largest campuses of its kind in the UK and Europe, with the goal of meeting the growing demand from life sciences companies for cutting-edge commercial and laboratory space in the UK.


The CGT Catapult has already played a significant role in establishing the largest cell and gene therapy cluster in Europe in the UK, centred on its Manufacturing Innovation Centre (MIC) in Stevenage.  The 7,700m2 MHRA licensed Stevenage MIC, which incorporates 12 segregated independent GMP cleanroom modules, was established in 2018 and has excellent international connectivity and supply chain links, an optimum skills base and a supportive environment for collaborators to grow.


This latest agreement will ensure that the CGT Catapult remains within the Stevenage campus and also provides the potential for further expansion of its development, manufacturing and skills facilities in order to continue to drive innovation and growth in both the Stevenage cluster and the UK advanced therapy sector as a whole.   The development by UBS Asset Management and Reef will include an estimated 1.4 million square feet of laboratory and office facilities, which will provide space for up to 5,000 new jobs.


Matthew Durdy Chief Executive of CGT Catapult, commented:

“We are delighted to be involved in the continued development of the leading life sciences cluster in Stevenage. This investment in the Stevenage cluster and the growing demand for lab space is testament to the rapidly growing advanced therapies (ATMP)-sector in the UK, with more and more companies looking to work alongside other leading companies in Stevenage. We are excited that the CGT Catapult can continue to provide expertise and training to the ATMP industry through our continued presence at this site and look forward to working with UBS and Reef to bring the largest bioscience campus in Europe to life.”


Stephen Martin, Site Head, GSK Stevenage and VP, Biopharm Discovery, GSK said: “We’re extremely excited about the development of this exciting new campus in Stevenage and welcome the CGT Catapult’s involvement. The campus will add much-needed laboratory space and facilities for new companies to locate here, and further strengthen the UK life science ecosystem.”


Reef Group Chief Executive Piers Slater commented:

“Both Reef, and our partners UBS Asset Management, are very excited and committed to the potential Stevenage has, as an established Life Science location at the centre of the UK’s Golden Triangle.  This is demonstrated by our proposed town centre scheme delivering in excess of 500,000 square feet of advanced manufacturing facilities for Cell and Gene therapy anchored by Autolus, and our plans to deliver a further 1.2 million square feet of Life Science accommodation alongside the CGT Catapult, Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst (SBC) and GSK”


Olivia Drew, Portfolio Manager, UK Life Sciences at UBS Asset Management added:

“The incredible work that CGT Catapult has done to-date has established Stevenage as a unique and globally recognised Life Sciences cluster. We look forward to continuing to collaborate [with CGT Catapult and SBC] on developing Stevenage as Europe’s preferred location for innovation and advanced manufacturing in cell and gene therapies.”


About the Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst

Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst is a world-leading science park of global significance and located at the centre of the largest cluster of cell and gene therapy companies in Europe. It provides a supportive environment to help companies grow by providing access to specialist equipment, mentoring and finance suited to their stage of development. Since its opening in 2012, occupier companies have secured £2.9bn in finance making the cluster one of the most attractive for investment in biotechnology in the UK.



About the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult


The Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult is an independent innovation and technology organisation committed to the advancement of cell and gene therapies with a vision of a thriving industry delivering life changing advanced therapies to the world. Its aim is to create powerful collaborations which overcome challenges to the advancement of the sector. With over 400 experts covering all aspects of advanced therapies, it applies its unique capabilities and assets, collaborates with academia, industry and healthcare providers to develop new technology and innovation. The Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult works with Innovate UK. For more information, please visit ct.catapult.org.uk or visit http://www.gov.uk/innovate-uk.

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