UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON (UCL)
UCL is Europe’s leading health research multidisciplinary university with the one of the world’s major concentrations of biomedical researchers grouping 8,000 staff and 22,000 students. Over 140 nationalities are represented among UCL students.
UCL is one of Europe’s largest and most productive centres for biomedical science with a particular expertise in cell and Gene Therapy. Most of UCL’s contribution to ATECT will come from the UCL Cancer Institute (UCL-CI) http://www.ucl.ac.uk/cancer
This institute opened in 2007 with the goal of consolidating cancer research across the campus and fostering interactions and collaborations between cancer researchers and scientists in other areas such as nanotechnology (London Centre for Nanotechnology at UCL), bioinformatics, developmental biology, stem cell research, immunity, engineering and medicinal chemistry. It brings together researchers, including clinicians, clinician-scientists and scientists, tackling all aspects of cancer laboratory and clinical research to make fundamental discoveries about the molecular mechanisms leading to cancer, to teach and train the next generation of cancer scientists and clinicians, and to conduct early phase and randomized clinical trials that will impact on patient care. The Institute – a £40 million investment by UCL, The Wolfson Foundation, Children with Leukaemia and Atlantic Philanthropies – covers an internal floor area of 8,832m2 and will eventually house 300 scientists. The basement of the UCL-CI houses the centre for advanced biomedical imaging (http://www.ucl.ac.uk/cabi)
UCL Hospital (UCLH; http://www.uclh.org/) is a new hospital building affiliated with UCL and built on the experimental heritage of the Middlesex hospital which it succeeds. UCLH has state-of-the-art medical facilities including a large intensive care unit and clinical haematology in patient ward as well as several surgical and general medical specialties. It is well suited to experimental therapeutics. A recent addition to UCLH is the University College Hospital Macmillan Cancer Centre (UCLH-CC). This is a 5 floor building dedicated to the day-care management of cancer patients. (http://www.uclh.org/OURSERVICES/OURHOSPITALS/CC/Pages/Home.aspx).
UCLH-CC and UCLH have staff dedicated to care of patients in early clinical studies. UCL-CI, UCLH and UCLHCC are all within 100m of each other allowing easy access to inpatient, day case and research facilities for the clinical trials team. Cancer clinical studies within UCL are supporting by the UCL Cancer Trials Centre.
UCL has the infrastructure with facilities for cell processing which includes a GMP licensing for gene-vector modification of T-cells and stem cells and a gene-vector production facility. This GMP is easily the most experienced in Europe in ex-vivo genetic manipulation with integrating vectors. This infrastructure includes regulatory oversight of manufacture and access to qualified persons to authorize release of cellular therapeutics.