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On the blog today, Ian McCubbin, Chair of the Medicines Manufacturing Industry Partnership (MMIP) introduces the Ministerial Advanced Therapies and Medicinal Products (ATMP) Manufacturing Taskforce. The Taskforce has been launched and held its first meeting, with a further meeting planned for June (see press release).

Introduction to the Taskforce

The Advanced Therapies Manufacturing Taskforce originated from the work of the Medicines Manufacturing Industry Partership (MMIP), it is co-chaired by George Freeman MP, Minister for Life Sciences, and by me, the Chair of the MMIP. It is a short-term group which will meet three times over 2016 with the aim of anchoring advanced therapy manufacturing and its associated supply chain in the UK. It will make a small number of targeted recommendations through an action and deliver plan to achieve this aim.

Taskforce membership

The group’s members include senior representatives from:

  • Office for Life Sciences
  • GSK
  • GE Healthcare
  • Pfizer
  • Astrazeneca
  • Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult
  • Centre for Process Innovation
  • Innovate UK
  • MRC
  • Institute for Manufacturing
  • MHRA
  • NHS Blood and Transplant
  • University College London
  • Oxford BioMedica
  • ReNeuron
  • Autolus
  • Cobra Biologics

Taskforce workstreams

The Taskforce has created three workstreams and appointed three leaders:

  • Technology and manufacturing (Keith Thompson, Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult)
    This workstream is looking at the current UK manufacturing position and considering a range of ideas from flexible grant and loan schemes to greater support infrastructure for companies.
  • People, skills & training (Jim Faulkner, Autolus)
    This is the most narrowly focused of the workstreams, it is looking at both training new people to enter the industry and repurposing existing skilled individuals to work specifically on ATMPs.
  • International competitiveness (Roger Connor, GSK)
    This workstream is looking at where intervention is required to support the UK’s ability to compete globally for manufacturing investment in advanced therapies. It is identifying where the UK is already strong and considering the UK’s process development capability, fiscal environment and the route to market for advanced therapies.

Next steps

The next meeting of the Ministerial Taskforce will be on Tuesday 28 June. At this meeting workstreams will submit initial proposals for recommendations to anchor advanced therapy manufacturing in the UK. After this meeting, details of a survey will be shared to ensure that the suggested actions reflect the views of the wider community. A final action and delivery plan will then be drafted ahead of the Taskforce’s third and final meeting on 2 November, with a release date for the plan and follow-up steps yet to be announced.

Get in touch

If you have any colleagues who would be interested in receiving updates on the work of the Taskforce or you would like to engage, then please get in touch with us by clicking this link.