The Catapult Network was established by Innovate UK to transform the UK’s capability for innovation. Encompassing nine world-leading technology centres, the Catapult Network provides access to state-of-the-art facilities, equipment and technical expertise to transform the UK’s scientific outputs into new products and services.
The Catapult Network has played an important part in the national COVID-19 response, from the manufacture of ventilators and PPE equipment to the creation of 3D training videos for frontline healthcare workers and the development of diagnostic testing facilities to process patient swab samples.
A key challenge when developing new vaccines is the need to rapidly scale up manufacturing once a new vaccine candidate is discovered. Following testing, scientists must develop a manufacturing process that can transform production from the small quantities used in academic research to the vast numbers of doses required to effectively vaccinate the general population, both within the UK and across the world.
The Catapult Network is responding to this challenge by focussing its resources on scaling up manufacturing processes for vaccines currently under development.
CPI, part of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, is a member of the Vaccines Manufacturing Taskforce and is playing a critical role in the saRNA workstream focusing on the development, scale-up, manufacture and supply of the Imperial College London vaccine candidate. CPI aims to ensure that when a vaccine becomes available, it can be rapidly scaled-up and manufactured in sufficient quantities.
The Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult is co-chairing an industry-led vaccine manufacturing group that works alongside a UK Government taskforce to identify ways to scale up vaccine manufacturing processes. The Catapult has also provided resources and technical expertise to support the development of the adenovirus vaccine candidate, originally developed at the Jenner Institute.
Through bringing together key expertise and world-leading facilities, the Catapult Network is supporting national efforts to rapidly develop and scale up vaccine manufacturing to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.
To find out more about the work of the Catapult Network, please visit https://catapult.org.uk/