Previously Mr Thompson was the director of the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service where he ensured the safe and sufficient supply of blood tissues and offered cell based therapies. He also held domestic and international positions, where he helped several small bio-manufacturing businesses and brands to become global players – including Alba Science and Serologicals and Bioscot.
Mr Thompson said: “The cell therapy Catapult is an exciting initiative, which promises to offer the next major advances in healthcare using cells to repair, regenerate and replace damaged tissues.”
“The UK has led the science of cell therapy and the Catapult aims to help translate this into real benefits for patients and business,” he added.
The Catapult is part of a network of technology and innovation centres established and overseen by the Technology Strategy Board which seek to open up global opportunities for the UK and generate economic growth for the future.
The cell therapy Catapult will be based in London and aims to open for business in the Autumn. It will work to grow a viable and sustainable UK-based cell therapy industry with access to finance, along with clinical and technical expertise.
Iain Gray, chief executive of the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) said: “We are delighted that Keith has joined us at this important stage of establishing the Catapult. He has shown strong leadership qualities throughout his career and brings considerable life science and international business experience to the Catapult.”
The Catapult will focus on the commercial exploitation of cell therapies and encourage inward investment to support the growth of the commercial sector. It will also work with UK companies to help turn innovations in cell therapies into commercial products to help people with serious or chronic illnesses.