Report sets out strategy for UK cell and gene therapy sector  

The Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult (CGT Catapult) has published recommendations on how the UK can continue to maintain its global advantage in the adoption of Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (ATMPs).   

The organisation’s ‘National Cell and Gene Therapy Vision for the UK’ outlines the provision of cell and gene therapies in the UK to date and makes recommendations based on insights from the CGT Catapult’s Industry Advisory Group on how the UK can use its experience of delivering ATMPs to inform future best practice. 

The document was launched at CGT Catapult’s fourth annual clinical adoption day, where it brought together experts from the NHS, industry and government organisations to highlight the supportive ecosystem in the UK for the development and adoption of UK ATMPs and priorities for a sustainable future of the industry.  

 The report 

The report states that the number of cell and gene therapies coming to market in the UK is expected to rise significantly in the coming years. However, the NHS must be prepared to face the challenges that come with these therapies, such as those including patient access and barriers to regulatory approval and the delivery cell and gene therapies in the UK.  

For instance, the report warns against the high upfront costs of cell and gene therapies which are often greater than that of traditional small molecules. These costs can pose challenges to assessment and reimbursement processes, meaning that certain therapies may not become available on the NHS.  

Key recommendations   

The CGT Catapult’s report recommends a number of actions for 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.  

Official comments:  

George Freeman MP, Minister for Science, Research and Innovation, said: “The UK Cell and Gene Catapult has played a key role in developing UK leadership in advanced therapies. It is no coincidence that 9% 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.”  

Indro Mukerjee, Chief Executive Officer of Innovate UK, added: “The National Cell and Gene Therapy Vision will strengthen our competitive advantage, furthering our lead in this important field. It is the result of collaboration across the ecosystem and this holistic approach, supported by Innovate UK, encourages both decisive, whole-of-ecosystem action and further private investment in innovation. We are delighted to have co-funded this important work and this news is further endorsement of the mission of the Catapult Network that Innovate UK established and fund.” 

Mathew Durdy, Chief Executive Officer of the CGT Catapult, said: “The National Cell and Gene Therapy Vision for the UK published today will help ensure the UK continues its progress in bringing these life-changing therapies to patients. Crucial to this effort is the Advanced Therapy Treatment Centre network, coordinated by the CGT Catapult, which will continue to drive innovation and support the clinical adoption of ATMPs through close collaboration between industry and the NHS. The expert recommendations outlined today, along with continued investment in the sector, will ensure that the NHS is prepared to deliver the next generation of ATMPs, and UK retains its status as a world leader in the delivery of these therapies.” 

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