Catapult presents vision for UK’s cell and gene therapy future

To ensure the UK’s prominence in the cell and gene therapy arena, the CGT Catapult has published a roadmap for the research and adoption of these cutting-edge therapies.

cell and gene therapy vision

The Cell and Gene Therapy (CGT) Catapult, as its name suggests, aims to advance this key biomedical field by working with companies at all levels in their therapeutic endeavours. In a new move, it has now published the ‘National Cell and Gene Therapy Vision for the UK’, outlining recommendations for how to embrace and progress this exciting branch of medicine and maintain the UK’s global advantage.

At its annual clinical event, which gathered experts from the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), industry and government organisations, the CGT Catapult presented the current and future landscape, highlighting how we can develop the necessary supportive ecosystem for the adoption of UK advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMP), which includes cell and gene therapies.

Given that number of cell and gene therapies coming to market is expected to rise significantly in the coming years, the group explained it could potentially transform the way the NHS manages certain diseases. In order to address the inevitable challenges ahead, their document outlined recommendations for making best use of the UK’s experience in delivering ATMPs to inform future best practice.

The combined recommendations span all areas of advanced therapies including the development of a UK advanced therapy manufacturing sector; enhancing the knowledge and skills of the workforce to prepare for future therapies; expanding treatment centre capacity through both new and existing centres; effective horizon scanning to prepare the NHS and industry for novel therapies; and attracting further global commercial investment in clinical research.

Importantly, the document suggests how the NHS can develop its data infrastructure to inform continued improvements to clinical practice and strengthen the real-world evidence base of these potentially life-saving treatments, ensuring they continue to make a difference to patients’ lives.

Welcoming the ambitions of the document, George Freeman MP, Minister for Science, Research and Innovation, commented: “The UK Cell and Gene Catapult has played a key role in developing UK leadership in advanced therapies. It is no coincidence that nine percent of all advanced therapy medicinal products clinical trials are run in the UK and that the UK has the third largest cluster for cell and gene therapies in the world.

“This National Cell and Gene Therapy Vision supports our ambition to cement the UK’s position as a world leader in advanced clinical research and development, while helping to accelerate access both for patients to new therapies and researchers to patients.”

The vision document was commissioned the CGT Catapult and funded equally by Innovate UK (I-UK), Astellas Gene Therapies, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Gilead and Novartis.

The ATTC network, funded by the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, successfully supports the development of the UK infrastructure for clinical adoption of ATMPs. The ATTC network has built, and continues to build, systems within the NHS to ensure that products progress effectively through clinical development and can be commercialised in the UK to reach patients in need.