A surge in cell and gene therapy trials - an increase of 37% since 2017 - highlights the UK’s leading position as a developmental hub in this innovative industry, according to the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult.

New research published by the group indicates that currently there are 85 clinical trials and 875 preclinical research projects in cell and gene therapies ongoing, representing a 37% and 20% increase year-on-year, respectively.

The UK has become a prominent place to develop and manufacture them, with growth being driven by increased investment from commercial sponsors, it says.

The UK government Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund has provided funding of over £70 million to strengthen the UK’s advanced therapy ecosystem. The funding manifested itself as a new CGT Catapult cell and gene therapy manufacturing centre in Stevenage, and the formation of a network of Advanced Therapies Treatment Centres.

These investments are creating a supportive pathway for advanced therapies in the UK, with the proportion of cell and gene clinical trials in the UK utilising gene modified therapies increasing from 47% to 73%.

“The UK is fast becoming the premier hub for advanced therapy research and development," said Keith Thompson, chief executive of The CGT Catapult.

"We are building the world’s most complete advanced therapies ecosystem. As the number of clinical trials has accelerated, the UK has made a determined effort to scale-up its research and manufacturing infrastructure to ensure this rich pipeline can continue to advance and grow.”