UK government boosts expansion of cell therapy in the NHS with new standardization program

The SAMPLE (Standard Approach to atMP tissue colLEction) program aims to standardize the way cell and gene samples are collected before being modified into Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (ATMPs).

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Apr 04, 2019

A new award from Innovate UK will fund a new program to standardize the collection and modification of cell and gene samples to manufacture Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (ATMPs). The number of patients receiving ATMPs is expected to rise to 10,000 per year over the next decade, and the SAMPLE (Standard Approach to atMP tissue colLEction) program aims to expand the capacity of the NHS to offer the latest cell and gene therapies.

Dr Ian Campbell, Interim Executive Chair, Innovate UK for UKRI, said: “The project announced today will bring real benefits to patients and boost the knowledge economy as part of the government’s modern Industrial Strategy. This is vital for the UK as a global leader in the development of advanced therapies and medicine manufacturing.” 

The project will be led by a team of researchers from The Christie, part of the Manchester Cancer Research Centre (UK), who will be working with a nationwide consortium of NHS Trusts (Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, Guy’s and St. Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, Newcastle upon Tyne), NHS Blood and Transplant and the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service and industrial partners Asymptote (Cambridge, UK), TrakCel (Cardiff, UK), Immetacyte (Manchester, UK) and Autolus (London, UK). The Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult (London, UK) will support the project in its role of coordinator of the Advanced Therapy Treatment Centre Network. 

Fiona Thistlethwaite, Medical Oncology consultant at The Christie and a SAMPLE project lead, said “SAMPLE represents a fantastic opportunity to link UK partners from across the NHS and industry to establish standard practices in the complex but very exciting field of Advanced Therapies.”

Marc Turner, Medical Director at the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service (SNBTS), said: “Advanced Therapies have the potential to change the way we treat many common serious diseases including degenerative conditions and cancers. SNBTS is delighted to be working with our commercial, academic and healthcare partners across the UK working to help realize this next generation of personal medicines.”

Source: The Christie press release

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