Innovation Centre for life-threatening diseases to be built in Sheffield

By Larissa Hurt

An Innovation Centre to aid treatment options for millions of patients with life-threatening diseases that have no known medical cure is going to be set up in Sheffield.

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

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 that South Yorkshire was chosen is significant – building on this region’s expertise in health and well-being research, utilising 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 South Yorkshire Renewal Fund has granted funding of £1.5m to the pioneering Gene Therapy Innovation & Manufacturing Centre (GTIMC) towards its facilities being built at a total cost of £14.2m

Alongside this funding, the GTIMC is also receiving LifeArc funding of £6.4m, £3.1m from the University of Sheffield and a £3 million donation from The Law Family Charitable Foundation.

Professor Koen Lamberts, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield, said: “At the University of Sheffield 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.”

“We are delighted that our University is at the forefront of research in this pioneering field of medicine and that this new centre will build on our reputation as an international centre of excellence for gene therapeutics.”

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

The three national hubs, located at the University of Sheffield, Kings College London, and NHS Blood and Transplant in Bristol will operate as a coordinated network, sharing technical skills and resources to enable innovative gene therapy research.

Written by Larissa Hurt

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