Thursday, 18 July 2019

New Report: UK's Cell and Gene Therapy Sector Growing at a (very) Healthy Rate

The Alliance for Regenerative Medicine and the Bioindustry Association of the UK have released a report (Report) concerning development and growth of the cell and gene therapy field in the United Kingdom.  The Report notes “four key takeaways”: 

[1] The UK is a leading source of innovation in the research and development of advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs) in Europe.  [2] There is strong government support for scientific innovation, capital formation, and patient access to cell and gene therapies in the UK. [3] There is significant investment in the UK   to support the development of these life-changing therapies. [and 4] The clinical pipeline in the UK, both in terms of UK-based companies and other companies interested in clinical development in the UK, is robust and growing.

The Report states that 24% of ATMP companies in Europe are headquartered in the United Kingdom, additionally there was over a billion US dollars in funding.  The funding in 2019 is on track to meet or exceed 2018’s funding.  There are detailed stats on funding by type in the Report.  Moreover, since 2012, there has been a substantial uptick in ATMP activity—from 22 companies to over 70 companies, some of which is attributed to significant government support and organization.  The Report also contains data regarding current and past clinical trials and case studies concerning relevant companies and their technology.  

The Report concludes with the following recommendations: 

Support scientific research to develop and advance both cell and gene therapies and ancillary processes, including manufacturing and scale up.

Foster economic development and the creation of a skilled workforce to promote the continued growth of this industry in the UK.

Cultivate a positive regulatory environment for the research and development of cell and gene therapies, including fostering accelerated pathways to ensure that patients are able to access safe and effective therapies in a timely manner.

Develop the necessary infrastructures within NICE and its counterparts in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland to ensure health technology assessments are able to address the long-term value provided by cell and gene therapies.

Collaborate with the NHS and other public and private payers in the UK to develop innovative financing models to ensure patients can access approved therapies in an efficient manner.

The development of a skilled workforce (and attraction of one) and the related issue of international collaboration is important, but not expressly tied together in the recommendations. The full Report is available, here

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