The Catapult will receive £50 million pounds from the TSB over the next five years, with the intention of similar amounts coming from industry, and through competitive grant funds. This is great news for the cell therapy and regenerative medicine sector in the UK, and should enable British scientists and industry to develop radical treatments for degenerative diseases which can then be commercialised, in turn boosting the economy.
As the direction and operational vision of the Catapult is shaped and defined, Team consider it imperative the it considers not only the science but also the science can be successfully translated and commercialised, which means that there must be due consideration of how the therapeutic product will be manufactured, inspected, shipped and delivered into the patient.
In recent issues of GEN, we have highlighted that there is recognition internationally amongst stakeholders in the cell therapy and regenerative medicine sector that the commercialisation of novel therapeutic interventions requires expedient development in order for them to be provided by healthcare system and providers, within the existing infrastructure. For us, this means agreement on standards and developing approaches for reducing the total cost of goods, and we firmly believe that this can be best achieved through collaborative effort – and the Catapult can help to drive this forward.
The TSB’s plan to establish a minimum of six Catapults by summer 2013 is provided in its strategy document, Technology and Innovation Centres Strategy & Implementation plan, published in May 2011. This builds on previous reports created by Herman Hauser (The Current and Future Role of Technology & Innovation Centres in the UK) and James Dyson (Ingenious Britain).