Word on Health

Word On Advanced Therapies

Our grateful thanks to Jacqueline Barry from the Cell and Gene Catapult for her contribution to our radio report and podcast feature (which you can hear again at the bottom of this page). Click here to visit the Cell and Gene Catapult website. 

Advanced therapy medicinal products(ATMPs) are medicines for human use that are based on genes, tissues or cells. They offer groundbreaking new opportunities for the treatment of disease and injury.

ATMPs can be classified into three main types:

  • gene therapy medicines: these contain genes that lead to a therapeutic, prophylactic or diagnostic effect. They work by inserting 'recombinant' genes into the body, usually to treat a variety of diseases, including genetic disorders, cancer or long-term diseases. A recombinant gene is a stretch of DNA that is created in the laboratory, bringing together DNA from different sources;
  • somatic-cell therapy medicines:these contain cells or tissues that have been manipulated to change their biological characteristics or cells or tissues not intended to be used for the same essential functions in the body. They can be used to cure, diagnose or prevent diseases;
  • tissue-engineered medicines: these contain cells or tissues that have been modified so they can be used to repair, regenerate or replace human tissue;

In addition, some ATMPs may contain one or more medical devices as an integral part of the medicine, which are referred to as combined ATMPs. An example of this is cells embedded in a biodegradable matrix or scaffold.

The ATTC network was established in 2018 with funding through the UKRI Medicines Manufacturing Challenge, delivered by Innovate UK. The network is a UK wide group of Advanced Therapy Treatment Centres (ATTC) operating within the NHS framework and coordinated by the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult (CGT Catapult) to address the unique and complex challenges of bringing pioneering advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs) to patients.

The centres are:

• Innovate Manchester Advanced Therapy Centre Hub (iMATCH),

• Midlands-Wales Advanced Therapy Treatment Centre (MW-ATTC)

• Northern Alliance Advanced Therapies Treatment Centre (NA-ATTC)

Since establishment, the network has developed and shared a body of knowledge and practice that has allowed and facilitated the NHS to deliver advanced therapies.

Through further funding provided by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR), and working in close collaboration with NIHR’s research infrastructure and the devolved equivalents, the network aims to build on its work on advanced therapy clinical trial readiness to ensure the UK maintains its position as a globally attractive location for clinical research.

The CGT Catapult is playing a central coordination role for the Network and providing it with clinical trial and R&D support, as well as in manufacturing, supply chain logistics, regulatory affairs, and upskilling via specialist training and development.

Listen to this weeks radio report

All material on this website is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being.