In 2014, Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult recognised that a lack of UK capacity to support the development and manufacture of advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs) would stifle progression and investment, leading to UK companies leaving the country for other global centres.
In response the Catapult secured £60 million of Government investment to build the Stevenage Manufacturing Innovation Centre (MIC), which underwent an expansion in 2020 supported by £12 million from the Medicines Manufacturing Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund and £3.36 million from European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
The facility has gone from strength to strength supporting the leading developers of ATMPs to progress their products towards market and in 2020/21 alone the UK collaborators in the Stevenage MIC raised over £0.5 billion in finance.
Today the area is a globally recognised centre for cell and gene therapy businesses, and is home to 75% of UK cell and gene therapy developers and 60% of the UK Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) footprint for these therapies. The cell and gene therapy campus in Stevenage supports over 1,000 jobs and is now home to over 45 companies.
Prior to 2017 and opening of the Stevenage MIC, a total of £131 million had been collectively raised by companies on the campus. Subsequently between 2017 and 2020 a further £2 billion has been collectively raised by companies on the campus.
Stevenage was designated a Life Science Opportunity Zone by the Office of Life Sciences (OLS) in February 2020 and as High Potential Opportunity area by the Department of International Trade (DIT) in October 2020.