The Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult (CGT Catapult) has announced a major investment in skills and capability training to help accelerate integration of cell and gene therapies into health services following their regulatory approval.

“Cell and gene therapies live at the leading edge of medical and scientific possibility, but medicines discovery and clinical development are only half the story,” said CGT Catapult Chief Executive Officer Keith Thompson.

“Key to widespread adoption in health services is the unique skills and capability set required to manufacture, supply and administer these important medicines to patients.”

As such, the government is releasing new funding of £3 million through Innovate UK, £1.5 million of which will go towards developing apprenticeships in partnership with the Medicines Manufacturing Industry Partnership (MMIP).

The other £1.5 million will drive capability development through a UK-wide network of Advanced Therapies Treatment Centres, which will address the challenges of supply, maintenance and delivery of these complex therapies in the NHS.

Key to their success is using technology to facilitate patient access to cell and gene therapy products, the GCT noted. The centres will also provide important data to support future reimbursement and payment, which otherwise would remain a key barrier to widespread implementation.

“The investment by Innovate UK in these centres builds on its existing track record for innovation in medical science to tackle some of the most debilitating and devastating medical conditions affecting people today, including cancer, heart failure, ophthalmic disease and neurological conditions,” said Dr Ian Campbell, executive chair of Innovate UK.

“We are excited to be driving forward our mission to integrate a new generation of medicines into mainstream healthcare and also building the UK’s position as a global hub in clinical development and commercialisation.”