Advanced Therapies offer unprecedented promise across many disease areas where there is currently a high unmet need. There is an expectation of significant increase in patient numbers due to the anticipated number of trials and approvals of ATMPs in the coming years.
In order to allow for a future scale up of ATMP treatments an on-site facility at The Christie has been established, meeting safety and governance requirements for the storage and handling of ATMPs. This facility includes dedicated storage tanks, including a back-up tank, and a bulk nitrogen storage tank. As part of this development shared policies and procedures for receipt, storage and issue of frozen ATMPs have established best practice within the clinical setting and enable ATMP storage space to be used flexibly with other partners in the consortium to maximise the potential capacity. There is also a reciprocal contingency arrangements for temporary storage in place with Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust.
This infrastructure development goes hand in hand with the enhanced capacity for apheresis, a common starting material for ATMPs. Further skilled nurses have been funded across both Manchester University NHS Trust and The Christie NHS Trust as well as a further Terumo Optima (machine to carry out apheresis) being purchased and commissioned at The Christie.
The infrastructure, governance and people that the iMATCH programme is putting in place will enable the hospitals involved to safely treat more patients whilst promoting a culture of best practice across the region to support this expected increase.