North East Connected

Merit Completes construction on £16m Cell and Gene Therapy Manufacturing Centre expansion

Merit has completed construction on the £16 million expansion of Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult’s (CGT Catapult) manufacturing centre in Stevenage, doubling the capacity of the facility which plays a crucial role in bringing advanced cell and gene therapies to patients.

Merit used its advanced offsite technology and specialist expertise in delivering controlled cleanroom environments to engineer pre-assembled modules at its manufacturing centre in Cramlington, UK. This reduced the impact of works as well as overall build time, allowing existing GMP manufacturing at the Stevenage site to continue without interruption.

Tony Wells, Managing Director, Merit, said: “Our close collaboration with the team at CGT Catapult was key to the successful delivery of this complex project. We worked alongside them throughout the programme using our proven expertise in next generation cleanroom manufacturing technology and advanced offsite fabrication capabilities to deliver high-quality cleanrooms that meet the stringent standards of the technical specification.”

Backed by over £75 million of funding, including investment from the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund; the department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy, from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, and from the European Regional Development Fund, the centre is providing the infrastructure and expertise to enable companies to develop their manufacturing capabilities and systems for large scale, commercial cell and gene therapy supply. Companies currently collaborating at the centre are Adaptimmune, Autolus, Cell Medica, Freeline Therapeutics and TCR2 Therapeutics.

Keith Thompson, CEO, Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, said “We are very pleased to be able to double the existing capacity of the CGT Catapult manufacturing centre with help from our partners Innovate UK and the European Regional Development Fund. We would like to thank Merit for supporting the build out of this phase, it has been rapid using pre-prepared fallow space and off-site prefabricated building techniques. Thanks to their expertise the new capacity will come online quickly, leveraging the existing MHRA licences, installed quality and operational systems alongside the expertise developed by the Catapult and our collaborators at the centre.”

Merit is one of the UK’s leading engineering and construction specialists and prides itself on the ability to design and construct controlled environment solutions for the bioscience and pharmaceutical sectors. The company operates from offices across the UK with its in-house team of designers and manufacturing experts who are all specially trained in highly regulated industries where the quality of workmanship is vital.

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