The gene and cell therapy field is rapidly expanding, as evidenced by record attendances at both 2019 American Society of Gene and Cell, Therapy (ASGCT) and European Society for Gene and Cell Therapy (ESGCT) annual conferences and the growing number of advanced therapeutic medicinal compounds (ATMPs) that have been approved for clinical use or are in late stage clinical trials.
The ESGCT are backing an initiative led by Olivier Nègre (SFTCG) to establish a database of gene and cell therapy activity across Europe that will include academic research institutes, biotech and pharma companies, non-profits and charities. As the community grows, the ESGCT goal is to promote awareness of all organisations in the field of gene and cell therapy and foster collaborations between them.
At the recent ESGCT annual conference in Barcelona (Nov 2019) I participated in a working group as a representative of the British Society for Gene and Cell Therapy (BSGCT) along with representatives of the other national societies/countries to improve the database and to increase the number of organisations listed. The idea being that in order to support the development of new biotherapies from proof of concept, to clinical trials and ultimately to marketing authorization, we need to combine the strengths of our European network.
The Gene & Cell Therapy Activity Database shows where in Europe academic institutions, the biotech and pharmaceutical industry, charities and non-profits and other organisations are working to bring new treatments to patients and further medical science.
The aim of this fully interactive and searchable database is to foster collaborations between the members of the gene and cell therapy community. The challenge now will be to persuade individuals and organisations to participate in this venture and create their profile online. The database can be accessed via the following link https://awesome-table.com/-Lj1L4LZlFFWm4ni7gXP/view
The working group are interested to hear the opinions of people in the field regarding what information they would like to see included in the database to make it a useful resource. One idea proposed is to link abstracts submitted to the ESGCT annual conference to organisation profiles. A survey is currently running with a chance to win a 50% reduction in registration fee for ESGCT 2020 in Edinburgh https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/GCTDatabase
Gerry McLachlan on behalf of the UK Respiratory Gene Therapy Consortium