The Cell Therapy Catapult (UK) recently awarded a major manufacturing contract to Cellular Therapeutics Limited (CTL; UK). The contract between the two organizations is in place for the next 2–3 years. During this time, CTL will support the current Phase I and II trials for the genetic modification of a patient’s T cells. On infusion back into the body, the T cells should recognize and destroy WT1-expressing cancer cells. The work could represent a major advancement in the treatment of blood cancers, including myelodysplastic syndrome and acute myeloid leukemia.
Keith Thompson (Cell Therapy Catapult) commented: “This contract will greatly enhance our WT1 clinical program and accelerate this research intended to benefit patients with these life-threatening disorders. We were looking for a company with the depth of expertise needed to manufacture a novel immune cell therapy and we were impressed by Professor Robert Hawkins and the team at Cellular Therapeutics.”
Cell therapy manufacturing is an industry undergoing rapid global growth and, with this contract, CTL are in a strong position to secure further business. The Cell Therapy Catapult, meanwhile, are scheduled to open a £55 million cellular therapy manufacturing center for late stage trials in 2017. Taken together, the stage is set for further cell and gene therapy investment in the UK.
“Cellular Therapeutics Ltd is delighted to be working with the Cell Therapy Catapult to manufacture cells for patients in this ground breaking trial. In the growing field of immuno-oncology, CTL is at the forefront of cell therapy manufacturing in Europe having a wealth of T cell therapy manufacturing and clinical trial experience built over many years in collaboration with the Christie Hospital and University of Manchester. Importantly, this contract will also help us obtain further manufacturing contracts and develop our business including our own cancer cell therapy products based on tumor infiltrating lymphocytes.” Robert Hawkins (CLT) concluded.