Pauline Meij, head of the Center for Cell and Gene therapy at the Leiden University Medical Center and a reNEW facility head, gave a presentation to the European Parliament on the development of cell and gene therapies and the difficult road to patients. Although many new therapies are being developed, only a small portion actually reaches the patient. “Since cell and gene therapies are regulated at an European level, it is of great importance that it is clear for the parliament that action is needed to give more patients access to these therapies” says Pauline.
Pauline and her colleagues identified bottle necks for academia and wrote recommendations for different stakeholders. Examples of bottle necks are a lack of financial support, lack of regulatory expertise and lack of knowledge regarding product development practices. Improving the knowledge in academia on product development and regulatory requirements is one of the recommendations they defined. But also improving the interactions between stakeholders in an important aspect that need to be addressed. In addition the role of the academia in bringing these products to the patient should be defined, especially for products that aren’t picked up by industry. The full presentation can be found via this link
This kind of information is not only essential for the European Parliament, but also for our center. Acting on this will help us to achieve our mission to deliver innovative stem cell driven therapies and transform the lives of people with incurable disease.