The UK is at the forefront of cell and gene therapies

Cell and gene therapies, otherwise known as advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs), have been developing quickly, revolutionising patient treatment across a range of conditions, but particularly leukaemia and lymphoma. That potential is now being realised across the disease landscape and the UK is playing a leading role in making that a reality.

Last week (18 July 2018) the BIA and the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine (ARM) launched a joint report on the ATMP environment in the UK. Leading Innovation: The UK’s ATMP Landscape, set out the scope of the UK’s robust and growing Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (ATMPs) sector.

The report emphasised that in Europe, the UK leads the way in cell and gene therapies – almost a quarter of European ATMP developer companies are headquartered in the UK. However, it is imperative that stakeholders from across the sector continue to promote a positive environment to support the research, development, approval, and commercialisation of ATMPs.

To mark the launch of the report we hosted a panel discussion, moderated by Steven Hansen, Associate Editor of Biocentury, on the current landscape for cell and gene therapies and how it will develop in coming years.

We were joined by:

•              Steve Bates OBE, Chief Executive, BIA

•              Janet Lynch Lambert, Chief Executive, ARM

•              Keith Thompson, Chief Executive, Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult

•              Henny Braund, Chief Executive, Anthony Nolan

 

From left to right: Stephen Hansen, Sven Kili Chair of the BIA Cell and Gene Therapy Advisory Committee (CGTAC), Janet Lambert , Steve Bates OBE, Henny Braund and Keith Thompson

Following a rigorous and illuminating discussion, we invited attendees to join us for a reception in the House of Commons, sponsored by Daniel Zeichner MP, the Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Life Sciences. Mr Zeichner addressed attendees, noting the role of the life sciences industry in making ATMPs a reality.

 

From left to right: Janet Lambert, Steve Bates OBE, Baroness Blackwood and Daniel Zeichner MP

The Life Sciences Minister, Baroness Blackwood, also joined us and shared her thoughts on the ATMP landscape. She remarked on the value of cell and gene therapies, particularly CAR-T therapies, to patients and importance of supporting the sector as it grows and develops.

We look forward to working with government and the NHS to ensure that the cell and gene therapy sector continues to grow, contributing both the UK economy, but to the transformation of patient care.

Peter Wasson is Public Affairs and Policy Manager at the BioIndustry Association