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Is the UK Still an Attractive Location for Clinical Trials?

on Thursday, 11 March 2021.

There has been a 20% growth in the number of Advanced Therapy Medical Product ('ATMP') clinical trials in the UK since 2019. That is the headline coming out of The Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult's 2020 ATMP clinical trials database and report.

The report from the world-leading life sciences catapult based in Stevenage, Hertfordshire is great news for the UK pharma and life sciences sector.

One particular feature in the report is the increased number of commercially sponsored trials from 89 to 115 trials since 2019. These figures suggest that international companies continue to invest in the UK as a location of choice for their ATMP trials, including those in late phase as commercialisation approaches.

The report comes at an important time for the UK as we assess the impact (both current and ongoing) of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and Brexit on the sector, including the clinical trials landscape. The news in 2020 was not good for clinical trials as reports of funding issues and delays or cancellations to trials took centre stage. The overall impact on access to innovative medicines, devices or procedures for those patients in need of new avenues of care was therefore in question. This report will therefore be welcome news for those seeking a positive outlook on the clinical trial landscape for the UK - although caution should be taken here as the full extent of the pandemic and Brexit is far from over.

Matthew Durdy, CEO of the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, commented: "Such a remarkable rise in the number of UK clinical trials in just one year is a testament to the tremendous strength of the entire UK ATMP industry and continuous backing of the Government in progressing it. The UK’s robust clinical space complements the growth seen in the GMP manufacturing space last year both contributing to a cementing of the infrastructure supporting ATMP developers in the UK."

At the 2020 PING Conference run by VWV, which focused on genomics, personalised medicine and AI, we heard about the latest opportunities in cell and gene therapies from Matthew Durdy and how the UK is taking a lead. This great news therefore comes as no surprise.

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Do you work on clinical trials or cell and gene therapies or otherwise need specialist legal advice for your pharmaceutical or life sciences organisation? If so, we would love to hear from you. Please contact Laura Barrell in our Pharmaceuticals & Life Sciences team on 07775 518585, or complete the form below.

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