Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Accelerating Cell and Gene Therapy is Not Just About the Science, It’s the Ecosystem

By Conor McKechnie

Much of the discussion at the Alliance for Regenerative Medicines’ Advanced Therapies Investor Day 2016 in London last week was about the science and technology of the medicine and manufacturing of cell and gene therapies. It’s not too much to say that we know it can be delivered, we know it needs to scale, and it’s just a matter of time before these therapies are regularly curing patients’ cancer and other devastating diseases.

Part way through the day a panel addressed something different, and perhaps even more important:

 how do you build a successful environment for translating cell and gene therapies into widespread clinical practice?

It’s not just about the science, it’s about making sure the science and technology are nurtured effectively. This is a huge deal, and is often overlooked by the media which is understandably more focused on celebrating the unprecedented clinical outcomes that are being achieved. I mean, they’re curing cancer, right?


Yes, but…the field needs support beyond the science, the technology and the investment. The consensus of the panel was remarkable. Whether it’s transparent and thoughtful regulatory bodies, clear pathways to accelerated approval processes, open public engagement in science, or a strong and research-led clinical network connected to a solid reimbursement framework, none of these things in isolation is enough for these new therapies to take off.

I caught up with panelist Emma Morris, Professor of Clinical Cell and Gene Therapy, University College London to discuss the issue:


Conor McKechnie is Chief Marketing & Communications Officer, GE Healthcare Life Sciences

This article originally appeared on LinkedIn Pulse