The Director of the Midlands and Wales Advanced Therapy Treatment Centre (MW-ATTC) recently spoke about the latest developments for the Centre, as well as the benefits of collaborative working.
Professor Phillip Newsome, MW-ATTC Director and Director of the University of Birmingham’s Centre for Liver & Gastrointestinal Research, said: “The MW-ATTC has been running for three months, and during that time we’ve been working hard to set up the structures that will help establish the Centre’s network.
“The Centre will include five clinical trials, all focused on advanced therapies. Our aim is to help cell or gene therapies reach the clinical market, as these advanced treatments have demonstrated a great deal of potential in treating patients with conditions like liver disease, arthritis and cancer.
“These unique trials will begin in 2019, and will provide patients with challenging conditions access to ground-breaking medicines.
“One of the trials will be a basket trial, in which patients with inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis and liver disease will be treated with the same advanced therapy, to more quickly measure its effectiveness and provide a much better way of assessing safety.”
The MW-ATTC, jointly led by the National Institute for Health Research Birmingham Biomedical Research Centre (NIHR BRC) and NHS Wales, was awarded £7.3 million funding by Innovate UK, and is one of only three centres in Britain awarded funding.
The NIHR BRC is a partnership between University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB) and the University of Birmingham, and has a strong track record of cell therapy innovation.
The MW-ATTC will operate from four centres: UHB, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, Abertawe Bro Morgannwg Health Board and Nottingham University Hospital.
Catherine O’Brien, Deputy Director of the MW-ATTC and Director of the Welsh Blood Service, added: “Working together across Wales and the Midlands means we can offer a unique programme, thanks to our different skills and strengths.
“We also interact closely with the two other ATTC’s, allowing best practice to be shared.
“The aim is to create a legacy both in terms of addressing challenges in rolling advanced therapies out to patients and providing more patients with access to pioneering advanced therapies.”
The MW-ATTC is also setting up a patient and public involvement focus group, to find out opinions around advanced therapies. Anyone interested in applying can contact Loraine Brown, Prof Newsome’s PA, by emailing L.Brown.firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 0121 415 8700.