The Advanced Therapies Wales (ATW) programme has been established to harness the benefits from emerging and transformative therapies for the people of Wales.
The programme aims to collaborate with strategic partners and stakeholders to provide patients with equitable access to emerging advanced therapies medicinal products (ATMPs) to improve health, well-being and prosperity for the people of Wales.
Funded by the Welsh Government, the programme played a significant role in bringing chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) therapy to Wales, through collaborating with its key industry partners.
CAR-T therapy is a form of precision medicine which involves genetically modifying an individual’s immune cells to recognise and destroy cancer cells, thereby providing hope for treating conditions which have been resistant to other forms of medications and treatments.
Minister for Health Vaughan Gething said:
I am proud that Wales is home to a vibrant healthcare research sector, and thanks to the Advanced Therapies Wales programme we have the opportunity to become a recognised leader in this exciting and innovative field.
By working in partnership with our industry, NHS, academic and 3rd sector colleagues, we can realise the full potential of advanced therapies and improve the outcomes for people suffering from a range of chronic, rare, incurable and lifestyle-related diseases.
Len Richards, who is the Senior Responsible Officer for the programme, said:
I am thrilled about the launch of Advanced Therapies Wales and the significant hope that precision medicine offers for areas of high unmet medical need, including the long-term management and even cure of disease.
These treatments are very different to how we currently run our services, and I am confident there will be major opportunities around production, transportation and application of ATMPs as we strive towards a healthier Wales.
Life Sciences Hub Wales is a key delivery partner for the Welsh Advanced Therapies (Adv TX) programme, and is committed to collaborating with a variety of special interest groups and consortiums that will help provide a supply chain for advanced therapy medicinal products across Wales and the West Midlands.
Cari-Anne Quinn, CEO of Life Sciences Hub Wales, said:
We are excited by the current ATMP progress being made in Wales and fully committed to supporting the trial and adoption of new treatments in Advanced Therapies Wales. Our remit is to engage with industry providers that can help us create a sustainable supply chain for gene and cell therapy in Wales, and we look forward to the next phase of this development.
ATW will also be unveiling a new website which will be the digital home to the latest programme news, events and industry insights, and can be accessed by visiting www.advancedtherapies.wales