The gene and cell therapy industry is a field of experimental medicine that has grown at an exponential rate over the last few years (particularly since 2015/2016). With a projected growth rate of 30% between 2022 and 2025 (to a value of $28billion globally), there is a huge demand for talented people who have experience outside of mainstream pharma. Whether you have experience that is directly within the science behind ATMPs, or whether you work in manufacturing and its associated GxP quality systems, or in medical or regulatory roles, the fact is that your expertise is in high demand. At Next Phase we understand the different career paths available in this sector and can advise our candidates on potential career development opportunities. Similarly, we can guide our clients through the challenges of attracting experienced candidates in a very competitive market that is full of skills shortages. continue to promote innovation and develop technology transfer expertise for vaccines and large-scale cell and gene therapy manufacture
What is cell & gene therapy?
Gene Therapy and Cell Therapy are overlapping fields of biomedical research and treatment.
Gene therapy involves the transfer of genetic material into the appropriate cells, Gene therapy seeks to manipulate a patient’s cells to alter the biological property of cells for the treatment of an inherited or acquired disease. It works by several mechanisms, including replacing a disease-causing gene with a healthy copy of the gene, inactivating an ill-functioning disease-causing gene, or introducing a modified gene into the body to treat diseases.
Cell therapy is the transfer of cells into a patient. Cell therapy seeks to treat diseases by altering certain sets of cells. In the cell therapy market, cells which originate from the patient or a donor are modified outside the body and then injected into the patient. This technique replaces dysfunctional cells with functioning ones.
So why is the overall cell and gene therapy industry so exciting; and why is it growing so quickly?
Many ATMP products present potential cures, not just treatments, to a variety of diseases, potentially disrupting the pharmaceutical industry and causing pharma manufacturers to go back to the drawing board. The pharma industry is now having to reconsider its infrastructure needs, to address the challenges and opportunities that this emerging field presents.
As a result, there is not only a boom in university spin-out businesses and small biotech companies who can attract seed investment, but also in the big pharma sector there is a major shift in systems and processes to embrace new technology. This is creating a wealth of job opportunities and, crucially, a race for talent.
Expansion is happening across several locations. In the US, the Advanced Therapies movement is partcularly significant in Boston, MA and San Francisco, CA. In the UK, there has been a huge investment into Stevenage, Hertfordshire, building on the amazing work being conducted in Cambridge, Oxford, London and elsewhere. It doesn't stop there either. Edinburgh is about to become a major new focus for Cell & Gene Therapy Catapult. Science parks such as Alderley Park in Macclesfield and Discovery Park in Sandwich, Kent are attracting academic spin-out businesses, start-ups and ambitious biotechs.