Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult

Advanced Manufacturing Facility.


Providing a clinical environment for scientists trying to eradicate cancer.

Cell & Gene Therapies (Advanced Therapies) are revolutionising modern medicine and have the potential to transform patients’ lives through their unique ability to cure disease and reduce healthcare burden. Merit is at the forefront of transforming medicine; we are collaborating with life science clients to design and build the next generation of industrially innovative facilities for cell and gene manufacturing. This in turn is enabling life science companies to fast-track their cell and gene therapies through their development and manufacturing cycles to the benefit of patients with no current treatment options.

Merit is supporting the cell and gene therapy industry in their quest to bring innovative medicines to regulatory approval and commercialisation as quickly as possible by using a highly integrated approach to the design, manufacture, build, validation and implementation of these types of facilities. Using Merit’s unique offsite site manufacturing technologies, these advanced facilities are designed and delivered within much shorter timeframes compared to traditional approaches. Clients also benefit from increased quality specifications, which translates into faster regulatory acceptance for the client.

“We are very pleased to be able to double the existing capacity of the CGT Catapult manufacturing centre with help from our partners Innovate UK, UKRI and the industrial challenge fund as well as the European Regional Development Fund. Working with Merit on this expansion phase and using an innovative method of construction with their off-site prefabricated building techniques has been a real advantage in ensuring we could maintain complete functionality of our fully operational facility ensuring minimal disruption to our collaborators. Thanks to this approach to building GMP facilities, the expansion phase has come online very quickly and will leverage the existing operational systems for more companies to setup rapidly.”

Keith Thompson
CEO, Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult

Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult is a centre of excellence for innovation with the core purpose of building a world-leading cell and gene therapy sector in the UK. Supported by Innovate UK, their mission is to drive the growth of the industry by helping cell and gene therapy organisations across the world translate early-stage research into viable and investable therapies.

Merit has been delivering extensive design and construction works at CGTC’s £70m GMP advanced manufacturing facility in Stevenage for a number of years.

Works have included the construction of a new office to accommodate additional space requirements whilst we were developing the design and subsequent delivery of 6 cleanroom GMP production modules.

Using Merit’s manufactured PAM solution, we are also currently delivering the QA Laboratory and Extension building at the Stevenage site. The effectiveness of Merit’s standardised design and offsite approach is well demonstrated at this leading advanced therapies building with both projects delivered faster and at a significantly lower cost in comparison to a traditional build.

On all of our projects, we maximise offsite manufactured construction through the use of Pre-Assembled Modules (prefabricated at our 270,000m² offsite manufacturing facility). This approach can offer a number of efficiencies including a reduction in our carbon footprint. Our model also reduces schedule duration and increases the consistency of build quality.

Overall, the design and construction of the latest QC laboratories project will take 8 months, which is 3 months faster than CGTC’s initial target, enabling faster Gene therapy development.