UK maintains dominant global position in cell and gene therapy


The UK is cementing its position as a global leader in cell and gene therapy (CGT), according to a new report released today by the UK BioIndustry Association (BIA), in collaboration with Citeline.

The report reveals a robust sector with significant investment, the highest number of clinical trials in Europe, and NHS patients benefitting from these life-changing treatments.

It reveals that UK companies secured 55% of Europe’s cell and gene therapy venture capital funding in 2023, showcasing the strength of the UK ecosystem.

The UK has 84 drugs in clinical development, surpassing all other European countries, with 23 CGTs are already approved for patient use in the UK.

Steve Bates, BIA CEO, said: “The UK’s  CGT sector isn’t just about research. It’s about real-world impact. In 2022, we saw companies like Autolus and Orchard, born from the ingenuity of UK institutions like UCL, translate their pioneering work into tangible results. Orchard’s gene therapy reaching newborns with MLD exemplifies the extraordinary potential of this field. These are not just advancements – they are stories of lives saved, transformed, and empowered.”

Advanced therapy clinical trials in the UK

The report is supported by the findings of the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult’s (CGT Catapult) UK 2023 Advanced Therapy Medicinal Product (ATMP) Clinical Trials Database. The CGT Catapult database indicates that the UK has remained stable in the number of CGT clinical trials in 2023, despite a global decline of 10%.

According to the CGT Catapult database, the UK has also remained attractive as a destination for commercial trials, with this type of clinical trial accounting for 81% of trials in 2023 and 80% in 2022.

The database also provides a breakdown of the type of trial underway in the UK, and shows that oncology was the dominant therapeutic area, accounting for 41% of trials. Similar to 2022, the majority of the ATMP clinical trials in the UK were gene therapies (76%), followed by somatic-cell therapies (19%).

Matthew Durdy, Chief Executive of the CGT Catapult, commented: “Clinical trials are not only vital to the research and healthcare industries in the UK, but provide people with invaluable access to potentially life-changing therapies. We will continue our work at the CGT Catapult, the Advanced Therapy Treatment Centres network and with key industry partners, to ensure that the UK has the infrastructure and skills needed to deliver these trials safely and quickly.”

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