Region chosen to host pioneering gene therapy facility

Sheffield has been chosen as the location for one of only three Gene Therapy Innovation & Manufacturing Centres to be established in the UK.

The pioneering Gene Therapy Innovation & Manufacturing Centre (GTIMC) has received £1.5m grant funding from the South Yorkshire Renewal Fund, towards its state-of-the-art facilities being built at a total cost of £14.2m. The GTIMC is expected to create 35 jobs.

The University of Sheffield’s Gene Therapy Innovation & Manufacturing Centre (GTIMC) is set to advance scientific discoveries into treatment options for millions of patients with life-threatening diseases that have no known medical cure.

Dan Jarvis, Mayor of South Yorkshire, said: “This is fantastic news for South Yorkshire and the North of England.

“It puts Sheffield right at the heart of world class research and innovation into Gene Therapy that will present a real opportunity for regional economic growth within the supply chain and job creation in South Yorkshire.

“The fact South Yorkshire was chosen is significant – building on this region’s expertise in health and well-being research, using the valuable resources and expertise of the University of Sheffield.

“We expect this to be a catalyst for further enhancing health and well being research and development in South Yorkshire.”

The Gene Therapy Innovation & Manufacturing Centre will aim to develop four clinical therapies to be used in clinical trials and which will be taken forward into standard clinical care within the NHS.

It is also expected to contribute an additional £28m of GVA to the region by 2027.

Professor Koen Lamberts, president and vice-chancellor of the university, said: “We focus our research on finding real-world solutions to some of the biggest global challenges.

“The Gene Therapy Innovation and Manufacturing Centre will unlock development pathways for new treatments for people affected by devastating genetic disorders, many of which have no cure.”

Alongside receiving funding from South Yorkshire Regeneration Fund, the centre is also receiving LifeArc funding of £6.4m, £3.1m from the University of Sheffield and a £3m donation from The Law Family Charitable Foundation, established by Andrew Law and his wife Zoë.

The GTIMC is planned for a site on the University of Sheffield’s Innovation District close to existing translational research facilities.

It will include a GMP (good manufacturing practice) facility that will support gene therapy projects emerging from universities across the UK.

The three national hubs, located at the University of Sheffield, Kings College London, and NHS Blood and Transplant in Bristol will operate as a co-ordinated network, sharing technical skills and resources.