Institute for Regeneration and Repair

Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult open Edinburgh labs

08 Jun 2023

Michael Matheson, Jacqueline Barry and Matthew Durdy
Michael Matheson, Jacqueline Barry and Matthew Durdy

The Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult (CGT Catapult), an independent innovation and technology organisation specialising in the advancement of cell and gene therapies, has officially opened its facility based in the Institute for Regeneration and Repair, its first site in Scotland. The new laboratories and offices were opened by Michael Matheson, Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for NHS Recovery, Health and Social Care. 

By opening these new laboratories, the CGT Catapult aims to provide expertise, resources and technology to help cell therapy developers improve their manufacturing processes and navigate the complex regulatory requirements involved in bringing their therapies to market. 

Edinburgh has become a world-leading hub for stem cell research, and the new space, will build on and support the region’s academic strength. The 350m2 high-specification laboratory space is equipped with state-of-the-art technologies to help cell therapy developers establish robust manufacturing processes for their therapies. Cell therapies are treatments which repair or replace cells and tissues to either restore normal function or enhance their ability to fight diseases, such as cancer. 

The offices are also home to a team of technical and clinical adoption experts who will work closely with collaborators to guide them on the journey of bringing cell therapies to clinical trials and the market. 

The space also includes a Universal Design Lab which has been designed for scientists with and without disabilities to work side by side. It is the UK’s first specifically designed accessible laboratory for the cell and gene therapy industry. CGT Catapult hopes this laboratory will help widen participation in the industry and increase opportunities for more scientists living with disabilities to take up a career in cell and gene therapies.

This investment in Scotland builds upon CGT Catapult’s existing work supporting emerging advanced therapy clusters in the UK, with its Manufacturing Innovation Centres in Stevenage, Hertfordshire and Braintree, Essex. As well as working with the advanced therapies industry in north of the UK, the CGT Catapult hopes the new laboratory and offices will also help attract international companies to the area.

Michael Matheson, Scottish Cabinet Secretary for NHS Recovery, Health and Social Care, said: “I am thrilled to be opening the new Edinburgh Laboratories for the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult. Their innovative work is not solely focused on industry and research, but with working closely with the NHS and academic partners, to ensure our health care systems are prepared for the future.”

Professor David Argyle, Vice-Principal and Head of College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, University of Edinburgh, said: “Collaboration is at the core of successful research and innovation. This new facility will support Edinburgh’s thriving cell and gene therapy sector, working in partnership with the University’s clinicians and scientists to translate world-class stem cell research into the clinic and bring new therapies to patients.”

Matthew Durdy, Chief Executive of the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult said:  “Edinburgh is home to a thriving life sciences cluster, with leading academics, clinicians and therapy developers all working in close proximity. By joining the Edinburgh BioQuarter, we hope to accelerate the continued growth and success of this cluster by providing access to the resources and knowledge needed to bring new cell therapies to the market.”

Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult