Innovative CGT Catapult labs open doors

Laboratory space will accelerate the development of potentially life-saving cell therapies

The Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult (CGT Catapult) – an independent technology and innovation organisation which focuses on the advancement of cell and gene therapies – has opened facilities in the Edinburgh BioQuarter.

It represents the first site in Scotland and the new laboratories were declared open by Michael Matheson, Scottish government cabinet secretary for NHS Recovery, Health and Social Care.

Through opening these new laboratories, the CGT Catapult intends to provide expertise, resources and technology to boost cell therapy developers while improving manufacturing processes and navigating the complex regulatory requirements involved in bringing therapies to market.

Edinburgh has rapidly emerged as an international hub for stem cell research and the new space – situated in the University of Edinburgh’s Institute of Regeneration and Repair – will further support the region’s academic strength.

Meanhwhile, the space also includes a design lab, specifically designed for scientists with and without disabilities to work side-by-side. It becomes the UK’s first bespoke laboratory for the cell and gene therapy industry.

CGT Catapult wants to widen participation in the industry and increase opportunities for more scientists living with disabilities to take up a career in cell and gene therapies.

Matthew Durdy, chief executive at the CGT Catapult, explained: “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.”

Professor David Argyle, vice-principal and head of College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, University of Edinburgh, reflected: “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.”

Matheson concluded: “I am thrilled to be opening the new Edinburgh Laboratories for the CGT 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.”