Westminster Health Forum

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Next steps for advanced therapies in the UK - research, innovation, and regulation

September 2020

Price: £95 PLUS VAT

***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***

This conference focuses on the future for advanced therapies in the UK.

Delegates will examine key issues for research and regulation - as the UK responds to the COVID-19 pandemic and at the same time prepares for possible regulatory and market changes at the end of the transition period.

The discussion at a glance:

  • the impact of COVID-19 - and how the sector is adapting to meet needs and changes in the supply chain, logistics and regulatory landscape
  • infrastructure and the workforce - priorities for supporting the development of advanced therapies - and the role and potential of the Advanced Therapy Treatment Centres (ATTC) network
  • the regulatory and approval process - key issues and the impact of possible regulatory divergence from the EU as the transition moves towards its conclusion
  • innovation and research - what more support is needed, across the UK, and what is being done to provide certainty over long term funding
  • improving adoption of advanced therapies in the NHS - and patient involvement
  • the accelerated trial and approval processes in place during the pandemic - what can be learned going forward for supporting advanced therapies to market
  • making the UK a global hub - prospects and policy priorities

The agenda:

  • Next steps for policy and making the UK a global advanced therapies hub
  • Advanced therapies: power and potential for the UK
  • Key issues for research and development - investment, infrastructure, workforce and manufacturing
  • Accelerating the process from research to treatment - assessment and approval of advanced therapies
  • Developing the regulatory structure - collaboration, innovation and managing the evolving landscape
  • Improving adoption in the NHS - communication, access and spreading best practice
  • Priorities for increasing patient involvement in advanced therapies
  • Providing a platform for the development of advanced therapies

The context at a glance:

  • Government’s UK R&D Roadmap - and consultation on investment priorities to achieve economic and societal benefits, and the ambitious positioning of the UK in global science
  • The Life Sciences Industrial Strategy - the recent update that highlighted advanced therapies as a key area for growth and opportunity for the UK
  • The advanced therapy treatment centres (ATTC) network across the country - development investment from the Leading-edge healthcare: Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund
  • UK trade negotiations with the EU - and with the Government’s intention that any trade deal would not include regulatory alignment
  • The Accelerated Access Collaborative - and plans for developing detailed systems and processes across all UK health system partners to support the adoption and supply of advanced therapies, and address the challenges of bringing products to patients
  • The Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre - scheduled to open later this year

The discussion in detail:


The impact on the research ecosystem for advanced therapies and what this means for the sector going forward, including:

  • how best to recover and innovate supply chains - following the shutdown of global transport systems for time-critical cell therapies
  • clinical trials - the impact of interruption of during the pandemic
  • patient involvement in advanced therapies clinical trials - how best to ensure it continues during and beyond the crisis, and that patients feel supported
  • manufacturing challenges across life sciences - assessing initiatives within the sector to overcome them
  • improving the resilience of the supply chain going forward - what can be learnt from recent experiences

The Life Sciences Industrial Strategy

How to implement the plans it sets out, including in the areas of:

  • innovation and adoption of advanced therapies - the ATTC network, realising the potential of gene therapies, what accelerated collaboration in health research during COVID-19 means for future joint working, and how the UK’s bio-industry is adapting, and streamlining processes to meet urgent need
  • infrastructure - and its development end‑to‑end to support innovation in advanced therapies
  • tackling manufacturing challenges for advanced therapies
  • increasing the attractiveness of the UK - for medicines development and manufacture, and investment, and how the UK will meet its targets for attracting research and development investment
  • the workforce - equipping them to deliver advanced therapies and address key skill gaps - including through the Advanced Therapies Apprenticeship Community

Supporting adoption and improving patient involvement

Drawing from presentations from international case studies and key UK bodies - looking at:

  • regulatory and reimbursement systems - to support the adoption of advanced therapies by the NHS from innovation and development through clinical trials and manufacture
  • COVID-19 - how it has affected the research environment, and patient access and treatment
  • patient involvement throughout the process - strategies for improvement, the role of the third sector in facilitating engagement and increased access to advanced therapies

Policy officials attending:

Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders.

This conference looks no different. Places have been reserved by officials from the Department of Health and Social Care; the MHRA; the Department for International Trade and The Scottish Government.

This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference

This pack includes

  • Dropbox video recording of the conference
  • PDF transcript of the discussion, including all speaker remarks and Q&A
  • PDFs of speakers' slide material (subject to permission)
  • PDFs of the delegate pack, including speaker biographies and attendee list
  • PDFs of delegate articles