-The Research England-funded Network is led by MedCity in conjunction with King’s College London, Imperial College London, and University College London, to connect industry and academia and drive forward commercialisation.
 
- There are over 130 advanced therapies companies in the UK, with 60% residing in the greater south east of England, including university spinouts such as Orchard Therapeutics and Autolus.
 
- New developments in the sector include King’s College London’s advanced therapies centre, a network of Advanced Therapies Treatment Centres, and the extension of Genomics England’s 100,000 Genomes Project.

The Advanced Therapies Network launched today (8 November 2018), led by MedCity in conjunction with King’s College London, Imperial College London, and University College London, aimed at supporting knowledge exchange within the academic base and industry working in cell, gene and tissue therapies.

Estimated to have a global market worth of £14bn by 2025, advanced therapies is a novel approach to medicine that uses experimental techniques to treat a wide range of conditions, including cancer and rare diseases. Funded by Research England’s £5m Connecting Capabilities Fund to drive world-class university commercialisation, the aim of the Network is to bring together collective expertise in this area to accelerate the progression for patient benefit. Unlike conventional medicines, advanced therapies offer revolutionary treatments which repair, replace, regenerate and re-engineer genes, cells and tissues to restore normal function, sometimes offering cures where acute unmet medical need exists.

There are over 130 advanced therapies companies in the UK, with 60% residing in the greater south east of England, including university spinouts such as Orchard Therapeutics, Autolus, Cell Medica, GammaDelta and Quethera. Over the last year alone, King’s College London has committed to develop an advanced therapies centre, the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult has received Innovate UK investment to support a network of Advanced Therapies Treatment Centres, and Genomics England’s 100,000 Genomes Project has expanded to aim for 1 million whole genomes sequenced by the NHS and UK Biobank in five years.

Sarah Haywood, CEO, MedCity who launched the Network at The Royal College of Physicians, said: “The aim of the Network is to bring together our leading universities and research institutes with innovative companies, to share ideas and successes, and ultimately, accelerate discoveries in this revolutionary area of life sciences.”

Professor Simon Howell, Director of Academic Estates Strategy for Health Campuses, King’s College London, said: “From The Francis Crick Institute, to the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, and our world-leading universities, the UK is pioneering in gene and cell therapy and tissue engineering, which are essential for preventing and treating disease. The Advanced Therapies Network aims to connect scientists, companies, investors and professionals to accelerate innovation and share knowledge and I welcome anyone in this space to come be a part of it.”

Rajesh Agrawal, Deputy Mayor of London for Business, said: “Pioneering advanced therapies innovation coming out of the capital contributes to our economic growth and leads to improved health outcomes for the population. This new network will bring together colleagues from across the UK to drive forward discoveries and translate them into life-changing drugs and treatments.”

Jacqueline Barry, Chief Clinical Officer, Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult said: “We welcome the launch of the Advanced Therapies Network and its aim to accelerate patient access to advanced therapy medicinal products. Collaboration in new and innovative industries such as advanced therapies is essential, and I look forward to the positive contribution that this group together with the IUK funded Advanced Therapies Treatment Centre (ATTC) network to drive adoption these therapies by creating easily run and ready to use systems and solutions that can be rolled out to other NHS centres.”

The launch event at The Royal College of Physicians was sponsored by the NIHR Office for Clinical Research Infrastructure (NOCRI).

ENDS

Notes to Editor

  1. MedCity exists to promote and grow life sciences investment, entrepreneurship and industry across the Greater South East of England. Supported by the Mayor of London, the London Academic Health Science Centres, and research institutes and life sciences organisations across the region, MedCity acts as a front door to the sector.
  2. A list of the speakers at the launch event are here: https://advanced-therapies-network.eventbrite.co.uk
  3. Those working in advanced therapies can sign up to become a member from Wednesday at 6pm at www.advancedtxnetwork.co.uk
  4. Photos from the launch will be available on the MedCity website and you can request from kim.watson@medcityhq.com. For more information contact Kim Watson, Communications Manager at MedCity on +44 (0)20 3179 8100.