CGT Catapult says the UK is a “world leader” in developing advanced therapies after publishing a 2021 clinical trials database and report.
The Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult (CGT Catapult) says its Advanced Therapy Medicinal Product (ATMP) 2021 clinical trials report has highlighted a period of continued growth in both the amount and progress of trials being conducted in the UK.
“In the UK, just under 80% of ATMP clinical trials are commercially sponsored, an increase of 13% over the past 12 months,” Matthew Durdy CEO at CGT Catapult told BioProcess Insider.
“This significant increase underlines the attractiveness of the UK cell and gene therapy ecosystem to companies developing ATMPs and cements the UK’s position as a world leader.”
According to the organization, the increase in activity showcases the UK as a globally recognized hub for ATMP clinical research and the country represents 9% of all international trials and 12% of all commercial trials from Phase I through III.
“This continued, year-on-year increase in the number of clinical trials in the UK suggests that there is continued interest in conducting clinical trials for ATMPs in the UK. Moreover, the increase in the number of trials is in early phase trials (pre-Phase II), which is likely due to growth in the ATMP space in general, as well as the successful translation of therapies from non-clinical programs into First-in-Human clinical trials,” said Durdy.
CGT Catapult were keen to note that there has been a decrease in trials starting in 2021, and less trials completed throughout the year because of COVID-19. But the full extent of the effect the pandemic had on clinical trials is not fully understood, as the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulation Agency (MHRA) does not require information of interruptions to trials due to the coronavirus.
While Durdy stressed the UK is a “world leader”, other regions are also seeing an increase in cell and gene therapy clinical trials. According to Lance Minor, principle and Life Sciences National Co-Leader at BDO “We’ve seen a big uptick in ATMP clinical trials within our own clients. This trend appears to be nationwide, based on FDA Investigational New Drug (IND) reports over the last three years.”
CGT Catapult claims it has contributed to the growth in the UK ATMP clinical trial space through the creation of the Advanced Therapy Treatment Center (ATTC) network.
ATTC is funded by the UK Government’s industrial strategy challenge fund, which supports the development of clinical adoption of ATMP’s.
“ATTC network has built, and continues to build, systems within the NHS to ensure that ATMP’s can effectively progress through clinical development to commercialization in the UK, meaning these potentially life-saving treatments can reach patients in need. This is essential for the potential of ATMPs to be realized and for the UK to achieve the ambition of building a world leading advanced therapy,” Durdy said.
The ATTC network has 114 organizations and 59 ATMP industry partners, and Durdy told us “The proportion of ongoing clinical trials run via the […] network has increased consistently both in the UK (from 39% to 55% over 4 years) and globally (from 2% to 5%).”
CGT Catapult also partnered with Deep Science Ventures to tackle issues and create companies that address needs in the advanced therapy sector in November 2021.