MRO Magazine

Cell Therapy Catapult Signs Memorandum of Understanding with Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan

November 27, 2015
By Business Wire News


The Cell Therapy Catapult, the UK organisation dedicated to the growth of the UK cell and gene therapy industry by bridging the gap between scientific research and commercialisation, today announces the signing of a memorandum of understanding with the Kanagawa Prefecture of Japan. The agreement was signed between Kuroiwa Yuji, Governor of the Kanagawa Prefecture, and Keith Thompson, the CEO of the Cell Therapy Catapult.

The agreement involves a commitment for cooperation in the promotion of the practical application and commercialisation of regenerative medicine and cell therapy in both Japan and the UK. The Cell Therapy Catapult, by co-operating with industry, academic institutions and the new Life Innovation Centre in Kanagawa Prefecture, is expected to provide partnerships that will enable both Japanese and British firms to internationalise the development of these advanced therapies. The Kanagawa Prefecture has the second largest population after Tokyo and contains considerable innovation in cell therapy and regenerative medicine. The Life Innovation Centre is strategically located next to Tokyo’s Haneda International Airport providing for ease of logistics in shipping cell therapies between Tokyo, Japan and Cell Therapy Catapult facilities near Heathrow, London, UK.

“This memorandum of understanding is the first agreement between the Cell Therapy Catapult and Japan. This will enable us to develop strong linkages that should help UK firms work in Japan through the Kanagawa Prefecture and for Japanese firms and institutions to develop linkages in the UK and Europe,” said Keith Thompson, CEO of the Cell Therapy Catapult. “In addition, the challenges of an aging population are felt most acutely in Japan. Innovative cell and gene therapies under development in the UK and Japan will play a role in enabling longer, healthier and active lives. We hope that the memorandum of understanding will be a fresh initiative to increase collaboration, mutual understanding and friendship between the UK and the Kanagawa Prefecture.”

“In the Kanagawa Prefecture, we are already promoting a variety of initiatives towards the promotion of regenerative medicine and the cell therapy field. In order to develop this further, we are collaborating with the Cell Therapy Catapult, as it is already at an advanced stage of promoting leading initiatives in this field in the UK,” Kuroiwa Yuji, governor of the Kanagawa Prefecture. “It is the first time that the Cell Therapy Catapult has entered into the memorandum of understanding with an administrative institution in Japan. The promotion of Japanese/UK collaboration regarding the regenerative medicine and cell therapy industries is a high priority in Japan. We have a great expectation that the signing of this ⅯoU will achieve the acceleration of the industrialisation of this sector in the future.”

About the Cell Therapy Catapult

The Cell Therapy Catapult was established in 2012 as an independent centre of excellence to advance the growth of the UK cell and gene therapy industry, by bridging the gap between scientific research and full-scale commercialisation. With more than 100 employees focusing on cell and gene therapy technologies, we work with our partners in academia and industry to ensure these life-changing therapies can be developed for use in health services throughout the world. We offer leading-edge capability, technology and innovation to enable companies to take products into clinical trials and provide clinical, process development, manufacturing, regulatory, health economics and market access expertise. We aim to make the UK the most compelling and logical choice for UK and international partners to develop and commercialise these advanced therapies. Regenerative medicine is one of the UK government’s eight great technologies that support UK science strengths and business capabilities. The Cell Therapy Catapult works with Innovate UK. For more information go to or visit

Cell Therapy Catapult
Joanne White
Marketing Manager
Tel number: 0203 728 9677