A key partner in the UK’s Advanced Therapy Treatment Centre (ATTC) Network, Aptus Clinical (‘Aptus’), a full-service specialist clinical Contract Research Organisation (CRO), announced earlier this year that it had been acquired by Catalyst Clinical Research (‘Catalyst’), a market-leading provider of clinical research activities in the US.

Aptus was one of the first companies to partner with the ATTC Network, upon its founding in 2018, and has worked extensively with the Innovate Manchester Advanced Therapy Centre Hub (iMATCH), one of the Network’s three key centres.

The ATTC Network, coordinated by the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult (CGT Catapult), is designed to accelerate clinical development, commercialisation and adoption of Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (ATMPs), through collaboration with industry, academia, regulatory bodies and healthcare providers. The success of Aptus, including the acquisition by Catalyst, showcases the significant impact the ATTC Network has had in facilitating growth and progress in the challenging area of ATMPs.

Aptus has contributed significantly to the growth and progress of the ATTC Network, working to provide vital training and industry knowledge, which has enabled the Network to grow into a trusted partner in the design, conduct, and delivery of high-quality drug development programmes. Founded in 2014, Aptus rapidly established itself as a specialist CRO which offers flexible clinical research solutions in diverse therapeutic areas including oncology, cell and gene therapies, and rare diseases.

Funded by the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, the ATTC Network works to develop the necessary processes and infrastructure required for ATMP research and adoption, including the crucial training of staff involved in this new and exciting area of medicine. Since its inception, the ATTC Network has created over 137 new highly skilled jobs. The Network has also supported two international companies to open offices in the UK and established an Industry Advisory Group of 68 partners to encourage pre-competitive collaboration.

Fiona Thistlethwaite, Director, iMATCH:

“The ATTC is proud to have worked with Aptus throughout this tremendous period of growth for the company. Aptus’s development into a significant CRO with proven expertise in ATMP trials, leading to its acquisition by Catalyst, is testament to the promise this new area of medicine has and the potential benefits advanced therapies may bring to patients in need.  We are pleased that Catalyst will continue their role as part of the ATTC Network, providing invaluable experience to the network as a whole, and we look forward to collaborating on further cutting-edge projects in the future.”

Steve McConchie, Vice President European Operations, Aptus Clinical

“Our involvement in the ATTC Network via iMATCH has provided us with an ideal opportunity to develop expertise & infrastructure to support ATMP trials, but most importantly relationships & networks which have supported the organic growth of Aptus over the past four years. This collaboration has also played a key role in the expanding our capabilities to be able to compliantly deploy digital innovations such as patient wearables and Artificial Intelligence into our trial.  As part of a globally focussed oncology CRO we are excited to be able to continue supporting these collaborations and improve the access to innovative potential cancer therapies for patients in the UK and Europe”