The UK has been highlighted as a leader in clinical trials for Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (ATMPs), after a report published by the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult (CGT Catapult) displayed the sector’s continued growth in the UK.
CGT Catapult’s 2021 Advanced Therapy Medicinal Product (ATMP) report shows that there were 168 ATMP clinical trials running in the UK in 2021, representing a 9% increase on the previous year, with commercially sponsored trials accounting for nearly 80% of ATMP trials. The report shows that the UK now represents 9% of all global ATMP trials and 12% of commercial phase I-III trials.
More so, there was a 32% increase seen in the translation of advanced therapies into first-in-human trials compared to 2021. Additionally, 55% of UK ATMP clinical trials were run through the Advanced Therapy Treatment Centres network (ATTC), which the CGT Catapult coordinates.
As expected, the Covid-19 pandemic is thought to have had an impact on the number of clinical trials conducted throughout the UK in 2021. Whilst the full extent of the impact on clinical trials is not fully understood, as the MHRA does not require notifications of interruptions to trials due to Covid-19, the report does highlight that there were fewer trials were completed in 2021 compared to 2020, indicating that some ongoing trials are suspended.
However, an increase in trials initiated in 2021 compared with previous years, despite the pandemic, suggests that there is continued interest in conducting clinical trials for ATMPs in the UK.
Matthew Durdy, CEO of CGT Catapult, said: “The rising and sustained commercial investment in UK ATMP clinical trials showcases the incredible strength and dynamism of the UK ATMP industry, driven in part by the dedicated ATTC network. It is clear that the recognition of the UK’s world leading clinical space for ATMPs is continuing to grow internationally, attracting investment in trials. This is a testament to the ongoing support of the UK government and the industry.”