[Ip-health] £100m injected to create Essex COVID vaccine hothouse | Business Weekly | Technology News | Business news | Cambridge and the East of England
james.love at keionline.org
Thu Jul 23 11:33:25 PDT 2020
This is an example of the extensive role of public money in COVID 19
vaccine R&D and manufacturing capacity, and in this report, a £93m Vaccines
Manufacturing and Innovation Centre (VMIC), currently under construction,
and a new "new mass production hothouse" that will not come online until
Dec 2021, and one that will have considerable uses outside of COVID 19, as
it is "lso designed to scale gene therapy technology," plus £38m to
establish a rapid deployment facility, opening later this summer, and
additional investments in training.
23 July, 2020 - 12:44 By Tony Quested
£100m injected to create Essex COVID vaccine hothouse
Essex is to host a new mass production hothouse to manufacture millions of
doses of a potential COVID-19 vaccine following an additional £100 million
cash investment from the UK government.
Braintree will be the brains trust of the new facility which is also designed
to scale gene therapy technology.
The Government has also contributed a further £4.7m for new training
facilities and an online learning platform to boost vaccine as well as
cell and gene therapy skills. The facility is also designed to cover
eventualities arising from future pandemics.
The investment will fund a state-of-the-art Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult
Manufacturing Innovation Centre to accelerate mass production of a COVID-19
vaccine in the UK.
Due to open in December 2021, the centre will have the capacity to produce
millions of doses each month ensuring the UK has the capabilities to
manufacture vaccines, including for emerging diseases, far into the future.
The Government initiative will upgrade an existing facility to create a
fully-licensed manufacturing centre. Doing so will increase the UK’s
ability to respond to diseases like coronavirus and to prepare for
potential future pandemics while creating new, high-skilled jobs to fuel
the UK’s economic recovery.
The new centre will complement the Vaccines Manufacturing and Innovation
Centre (VMIC), which is currently under construction in Oxfordshire thanks
to a separate £93m investment from the Government. Once complete next year,
the facility will have the capacity to produce enough vaccine doses to
serve the entire UK population at scale.
While the centre is under construction, the Government has invested an
additional £38m to establish a rapid deployment facility, opening later
this summer, that will support efforts to ensure a successful vaccine is
widely available to the public as soon as possible.
Business Secretary Alok Sharma said: “We are taking all necessary steps to
ensure we can vaccinate the public as soon as a successful COVID-19 vaccine
“This new Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult Manufacturing Innovation Centre,
alongside crucial investment in skills, will support our efforts to rapidly
produce millions of doses of a coronavirus vaccine while ensuring the UK
can respond quickly to potential future pandemics.”
Employment in the cell and gene therapy sector is predicted to reach over
6,000 jobs by 2024, with over 3,000 in manufacturing and bioprocessing.
The UK is at the forefront of international efforts to research and develop
a COVID-19 vaccine and has provided £131 million funding to University of
Oxford and Imperial College London to accelerate their work on two vaccine
. . .
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