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Opportunities in cell and gene therapy

While cell and gene therapy studies have been around for some time, the sector is currently experiencing a period of exceptional growth as clinical trial successes encourage investment, and the first commercial gene therapy treatments finally begin to hit the market. To sustain the current trajectory for regenerative medicine, increasing the talent pool for this sector will be essential.

Regenerative medicine is one of the Government’s Eight Great Technologies, which they believe will build on our scientific strengths and boost the UK’s economic growth. Broadly speaking it focuses on tissue engineering and molecular biology to replace, engineer or regenerate human cells, tissues or organs to help them to function normally.

With £11m of Government investment available for regenerative medicine R&D and manufacturing (through Innovate UK, formerly the Technology Strategy Board), increasing commercial sponsorship and many of the big pharma companies entering the market, it’s an exciting time for this innovative field of study.

The UK presently has a significant number of world-leading scientists in the field of regenerative medicine doing ground-breaking work. The Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, the UK’s centre of excellence, is based at Guy’s Hospital London and its annual review is interesting reading1:

  • Investment in cell and gene therapy has grown 10-fold in 3 years, from £35m in 2012 to over £400m in 2015
  • There are 42 cell and gene therapy developers in the UK; half of these are rapidly growing their R&D
  • The number of cell and gene therapy developers has grown by 90% since 2012
  • Employment in the sector has doubled from 540 in 2012 to more than 1,000 people at the end of 2015
  • Clinical trial numbers are on the up, growing 50% from 2013
  • The size of the manufacturing footprint for cell and gene therapies has also grown by 50%

So what innovative breakthroughs are cell and gene therapy companies working on? Well, studies range from re-growing knee cartilage and manufacturing red blood cells, to cell therapy to promote tolerance in organ transplant recipients, and a cure for blindness. There are many applications for cell and gene therapy, from oncology and autoimmune diseases to cardiovascular and nervous disorders, opening the door to new and innovative treatments over the coming years.

Paramount identified cell and gene therapy as an up and coming sector and are now working with a number of leading companies in the field. With unprecedented growth comes the need to get talented people in to drive the research and development of innovative treatments and get them through clinical trial, into production, approved and onto the market.

However, as such a relatively new field of specialty, finding the right people takes time. In the UK, a number of universities – including UCL and Imperial College London – are now offering MSc and post-graduate certificates in cell and gene therapies, so there are certainly more candidates in the pipeline to meet future industry demand, but how do we increase the talent pool in the here and now?

Paramount are currently engaging with candidates and clients from biotech and pharma companies, hospitals and academic institutions throughout the UK & Europe, who will play a key role in the continuous development of cell and gene therapy.

If you are interested in discovering candidates who can support your cell and gene therapy company growth, or you are someone with an interest in this up and coming sector, we would like to hear from you.

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1st February

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