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Double Boost for Stevenage Growth as Cell and Gene Therapy Hub

on Wednesday, 13 October 2021.

Stevenage has had a double boost for its growing reputation as a leading global cell and gene therapy hub.

Autolus, an international biopharmaceutical company pioneering new cancer treatments, has received approval to build a new £65m global headquarters in Stevenage. The Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership's recent investments have consolidated Stevenage's position as a globally recognised hub for cell and gene therapy, attracting international companies such as Autolus and thousands of high-level jobs.

Autolus is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing next-generation programmed T cell therapies for the treatment of cancer. Using a broad suite of proprietary and modular T cell programming technologies, the company is engineering precisely targeted, controlled and highly active T cell therapies that are designed to better recognize cancer cells, break down their defence mechanisms and eliminate these cells.

The new 70,000 square foot facility is being built by Merit Holdings. The global commercial launch capacity for obecabtagene autoleucel (obe-cel) will initially be provided through the existing clinical trial manufacturing facility at The Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult (CGTC) facility in Stevenage. It will then move to the new Autolus facility to allow for GMP capacity for approximately 2,000 batches a year initially, with scope to expand.

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Dr. Christian Itin, chief executive officer of Autolus, fully endorsed the cluster in Hertfordshire, saying: "Stevenage is rapidly becoming one of Europe’s largest clusters for biotechnology and the establishment of our own manufacturing facility will secure global commercial launch capacity for obe-cel."

In a second development, Quell Therapeutics, the world leader in developing engineered Treg Cell therapies for serious medical conditions driven by the immune system, has announced it has entered a collaboration with the CGTC to help it expand its clinical manufacturing capabilities and capacity.

The PING Conference 2021

At the 2020 PING Conference run by VWV on Britain's Great Life Sciences Future: Genomics, Personalised Medicine and AI, we heard an array of excellent speakers from Genomics England, CGTC, Congenica, and others. We were treated to some really exciting news about the UK's lead in these exciting and innovative areas, which are going to shape the future of life sciences and treatments of patients in novel ways. CGTC also won the PING Innovation Award in 2020.

The PING Conference 2021 is looking at how the UK is building on recent achievements with the implementation of the UK Life Sciences Vision, exploring exciting ways in which the UK is leading the world with innovation and collaboration. Find our more details about the PING Conference 2021

If you would be interested in hearing more about these issues and being invited to attend PING meetings, please contact Paul Gershlick in our Pharmaceuticals and Life Sciences team on 07795 570072, or complete the form below.

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