Fundraisings and IPOs

Date: 2017-12-05

Type of information: Grant

Company: Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult (UK) Oxford MEStar (UK) AK (Suzhou) Biomedical (Chinaà

Investors: Innovate UK-Jiangsu Industrial Challenge Programme (UK - China)

Amount: undisclosed

Funding type: grant

Planned used:

  • Through the grant, CGT Catapult, Oxford MEStar, a UK based bioengineering company specialising in process automation for the regenerative medicine and cell therapy sector, and AK (Suzhou) Biomedical, a Chinese biotech firm specialising in products and services for clinical applications aim to support the development of a novel manufacturing system intended to dramatically reduce the cost of production of CAR-T therapy. The proposed system will reduce costs by utilising automation, to cut down on labour costs, and ensure maximum efficiency and quality whilst maintaining high GMP standards. Existing systems currently suffer from high equipment and consumables costs, and heightened failure rate due to ‘open’ processes. The three partners in the project will bring together their expertise and capabilities to progress the development of a scalable manufacturing solution. Oxford MEStar, a spin-out from Oxford University, will be the industrial lead in the UK and will develop the prototype of the modular bioreactor system. AK (Suzhou) Biomedical, will be the industrial lead in China and will be responsible for validating the system in a GMP environment and carrying out pre-production prototyping. CGT Catapult will provide expert design and testing of the system through exemplar immunotherapy processes, and further support development and evaluation as a scalable solution.


  • • On December 5, 2017, the Cell and Gene Therapy (CGT) Catapult, in collaboration with Oxford MEStar and AK (Suzhou) Biomedical, announced they have been awarded a grant of £506,000 from the Innovate UK-Jiangsu Industrial Challenge Programme, a project set up by Innovate UK and Jiangsu Science and Technology Department to stimulate economic growth, and foster ties between China and the UK.

Therapeutic area: Technology - Services

Is general: Yes