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Eversheds Sutherland advises Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult on government investment to mass produce COVID-19 vaccine and establish national training centres

  • United Kingdom
  • Global

    23-07-2020

    Eversheds Sutherland has advised Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult on a government investment of more than £100m to produce millions of doses of a coronavirus vaccine, enabling these to be made available as soon as possible.

    This will also be complemented by £4.7 million of funding to establish national initiatives for upskilling in advanced therapy and vaccine manufacturing.

    The government will invest in a new state-of-the-art Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult Manufacturing Innovation Centre that will expedite the mass production of a COVID-19 vaccine in the UK. Due to become fully operational in December 2021, once operating it will have the capabilities to produce millions of doses each month. 

    The Eversheds Sutherland team was led by corporate Partner Steven Hacking and included: Partner Iftkhar Ahmed (real estate), Legal Director Rachel Cooper (commercial), Principal Associates Tom Milburn and Morag Roddick (both corporate), Senior Associate Charlotte Singh (corporate) and Associates Omid Kheradmand (corporate) and Aimee Southall (real estate). The team advised on all aspects of the transaction including the facility acquisition and funding arrangements.

    Located in Braintree, Essex, and in conjunction with Innovate UK and the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, the government initiative will upgrade an existing manufacturing facility to create the fully licensed new centre. Doing so will also increase the UK’s resilience and preparedness to emerging diseases like coronavirus, whilst creating new high-skilled jobs and helping to fuel the UK’s economic recovery.

    As well as addressing the immediate need to produce a COVID-19 vaccine, the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult Manufacturing Innovation Centre will be at the forefront of growing the UK’s cell and gene therapy industry. This will include accelerating the time taken for new treatments to be developed and delivered to patients by driving innovation, developing cutting-edge therapies to treat and prevent diseases, and supporting businesses to produce potential new treatments at scale.

    The additional £4.7m investment will support the development of both virtual and national Centres for Advanced Therapies Training and Skills. These will include facilities to provide industry-standard skills and experience including aseptic techniques for Good Manufacturing Practice as well as online training programmes for advanced therapy and vaccine manufacturing.

    Steven Hacking, Eversheds Sutherland, said:

    “We are delighted to have assisted Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult on the investment into this new state-of-the art cell and gene therapy manufacturing innovation centre and training centres. In addition to the capability to scale-up manufacturing of a COVID-19 vaccine, we look forward to continuing to work with the team on this crucial development and the longer-term benefits which it will bring to the cell and gene therapy sector.” 

    Matthew Durdy, CEO, Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, commented:

    “This commitment from Government through the Vaccines Task force will enable continued growth and productivity in the cell and gene therapy sector, as well as providing vital resource for vaccine manufacturing and economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

    “We are delighted to be able to deploy the specialist capabilities of the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult in such an important initiative. Accelerating the availability of COVID-19 vaccines, increasing skills and employment, and facilitating growth of the advanced medicines industry will make a valuable contribution to the recovery of the economy.” 

    This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full terms and conditions on our website.

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