Clinical trial numbers grow in the UK

Out-Law News | 29 Jan 2020 | 3:27 pm | 1 min. read

New statistics show that the UK remains at the forefront of pioneering clinical trials, an expert in life sciences has said.

Nicole Jadeja of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law, was commenting after figures released by the Cell and Gene Therapy (CGT) Catapult suggested 12% of all clinical trials for advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs) in 2019 were carried out in the UK.

Jadeja Nicole_November 2019

Nicole Jadeja

Partner

There are many reasons why the UK is a great place to run clinical trials, including the dynamic yet robust approach the UK health regulator is taking to ATMPs

The London-based CGT Catapult, which is tasked with helping cell and gene therapy organisations across the world translate early stage research into commercially viable and investable therapies, said there were 127 ongoing clinical trials for advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs) in the UK as at the end of 2019, up from 85 such trials the year before.

According to the new data published by the CGT Catapult, an increasing number of clinical trials in the UK are being sponsored, with 77% of all UK trials commercially sponsored last year. The trials also commonly involve genetic modification and the use of technologies such as the gene-editing tool CRISPR. Almost two-thirds of the clinical trials last year concerned research into new medicines in the fields of oncology (39%), ophthalmology (13%) and haematology (12%).

Jadeja said: "Despite the uncertainty caused by Brexit, it is encouraging to see the UK is still at the forefront of innovative clinical research – a conclusion echoed in the life sciences industrial strategy update published earlier this month. There are many reasons why the UK is a great place to run clinical trials, including the dynamic yet robust approach the UK health regulator is taking to ATMPs. This can only be good news in terms of getting medicines to patients."