Nearly 200 people from across the spectrum of healthcare came together at the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health in London on 8th November to learn more about novel advanced therapies entering clinical practice.

This event delivered an overview of the scientific basis of cell and gene therapies and their applications. Speakers provided insight into the broad scope of therapeutic approaches in development and highlighted the potential transformation  that these therapies can bring to patients’ lives.

Delegates took the opportunity to network and exchange ideas with new colleagues, as well as contributing suggestions on key training priorities for the NHS workforce and interacting with the event sponsors.

We were honoured to welcome two patients presenting their experiences of being treated with advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs). The first patient had been treated with CAR-T therapy, just after these medicines were licensed for use in the NHS in January of this year. The second patient talked to us about his experience of receiving a virus-based gene therapy as part of a clinical trial for haemophilia.

Finally, the day was rounded off with a perspective on some of the challenges and lessons learnt as CAR-T therapies were brought to market. Close collaboration between teams is key to expedite these therapies through the hospital. Effective high-level interactions between the pharmaceutical industry and the NHS are also needed to facilitate the smooth roll out of these complex treatments.