Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult Announces Viral Vector Manufacturing Technology Collaboration with Freeline Therapeutics

Freeline will develop a ‘next-generation’ therapy platform at the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult’s UK-based large-scale GMP manufacturing centre. Company will further develop proprietary viral vector manufacturing technology for bleeding and other disorders.


The Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult (CGT Catapult) today announced a partnership with Freeline Therapeutics, a global biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of adeno-associated virus (AAV) based gene therapies, to further develop the company’s proprietary manufacturing platform at the CGT Catapult’s large scale GMP manufacturing centre in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, UK.

Freeline’s technology uses engineered adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors for the treatment of bleeding and other debilitating disorders. Freeline will deploy their proprietary manufacturing platform for production of clinical supply in one of the CGT Catapult’s newly built manufacturing centre modules.

“We are delighted to establish this collaboration with Catapult as we seek to deliver our ambition to establish a global leadership position with a ‘next generation’ AAV gene therapy platform. Ensuring rapid and secure manufacture of clinical supplies using cutting-edge manufacturing technologies has been an important focus for us since Day One as we have sought to build an agile business of industrial scale and quality. Establishing this capability at the Catapult Manufacturing Centre enables us to meet this aim and to drive our growing pipeline forward.” said Jan Thirkettle, Chief Development Officer, Freeline Therapeutics. “The recently confirmed grant from Innovate UK in support of this collaboration has been instrumental to expedite this important partnership.”

“This is an excellent opportunity for the CGT Catapult to collaborate on the frontier of manufacturing technology,” said Keith Thompson, Chief Executive Officer, Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult. “Our world-leading GMP standard manufacturing facility represents an ideal environment for Freeline to further develop its AAV-based platform, for use in one of the most promising areas of gene therapy research. We are delighted to welcome the company to the site.”

The manufacturing centre, scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2018, will provide the UK with the manufacturing facilities needed for large scale cell and gene therapy clinical studies and commercialisation, in line with Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) standards. Its innovative business model allows the development of new manufacturing processes in a collaborative environment. The centre features a series of large clean room modules and is designed to enable companies to accelerate and scale manufacturing of these innovative products and collaborate on the new technologies needed in manufacture and supply to take treatments from the factory to the clinic. In 2017, the centre received a £12 million award from the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, significantly increasing its capacity.

About the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult

The Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult was established as an independent centre of excellence to advance the growth of the UK cell and gene therapy industry, by bridging the gap between scientific research and full-scale commercialisation. With more than 120 employees focusing on cell and gene therapy technologies, it works with partners in academia and industry to ensure these life-changing therapies can be developed for use in health services throughout the world. It offers leading-edge capability, technology and innovation to enable companies to take products into clinical trials and provide clinical, process development, manufacturing, regulatory, health economics and market access expertise. Its aim is to make the UK the most compelling and logical choice for UK and international partners to develop and commercialise these advanced therapies. The Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult works with Innovate UK. For more information please visit ct.catapult.org.uk or visit http://www.gov.uk/innovate-uk. About Freeline Therapeutics Freeline Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of curative gene therapies for bleeding and other severe disorders. Gene therapy has the potential to transform lives for people with severe diseases by providing a long-lasting, safe and reliable source of enzymes to the blood. The Company’s next-generation AAV gene therapy platform, developed by Founder and Chief Scientific Officer Prof. Amit Nathwani, Professor of Haematology at University College London, is being utilised to rapidly advance therapies towards the clinic and builds on the successful haemophilia B phase I/II trial conducted by UCL in collaboration with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (Nathwani et al, N Engl J Med 2011; 365:2357-2365; Nathwani et al, N Engl J Med 2014; 371:1994-2004)

About Innovate UK

Innovate UK is the UK’s innovation agency. It works with people, companies and partner organisations to find and drive the science and technology innovations that will grow the UK economy. For further information, please visit www.innovateuk.gov.uk

Based at the Royal Free Hospital, London, Freeline was launched in December 2015 with an initial £25 million Series A financing from Syncona Ltd. For further information please visit the Company’s website at: www.freelinetx.com

For further information please contact:
FTI Consulting for the CGT Catapult
Con Franklin +44 (0) 203 319 5560 / con.franklin@fticonsulting.com
Michael Trace +44 (0) 203 319 5674 / michael.trace@fticonsulting.com

For Freeline Therapeutics:
Greg Stewart: Greg.Stewart@freelinetx.com
Siobhan Weaver: +44 (0)20 7611 2031/ S.Weaver@synconaltd.com

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