IGTP joins the Advanced Therapies Network of Catalonia

- Innovation, Institutional

News source: Biocat

Yesterday, 10 June, Biocat presented the Advanced Therapies Network, an initiative coordinated by the organisation to promote research and development of these drugs, seeking to generate an economic and social impact in Catalonia. Its aim is to get these therapies to patients faster and project the BioRegion of Catalonia as a global benchmark hub in advanced therapies.

The event brought together more than a hundred representatives from various advanced therapies stakeholders in Catalonia: startups and scaleups, production centers, investment funds, hospitals, universities and research centers, companies and the Healthcare System. A total of 45 companies and organisations have already joined the Network, including Germans Trias i Pujol Research Institute (IGTP).

Catalan companies and organizations that have joined the Advanced Therapies Network of Catalonia at the presentation of the initiative.

The Advanced Therapies Network is a project the Government of Catalonia entrusted to Biocat in 2022 in order to drive the advanced therapies ecosystem in Catalonia to ensure patients have access to therapeutic solutions and increase the number of clinical trials in this arena. The initiative will also encourage industrial development and boost the economic and social impact of this strategic value-added sector.

Catalonia, leader in advanced therapies

The presentation highlighted several indicators that support the importance and impact of advanced therapies in Catalonia. The region leads the national ranking in scientific publications (2,195 or 38% of the total) and, in Europe and the world, Catalonia is a benchmark in participating in advanced therapies clinical trials, ranked fifth in Europe and eighth in the world. It has also received more funding (64% of the total) than any other autonomous community in the CERTERA call, demonstrating Catalonia's leadership in developing advanced therapies in Spain.

Challenges ahead

Although the indicators show the ecosystem's potential in the field of advanced therapies, now it is important to tackle some of its challenges to improve the whole value chain in advanced therapies development: training and retaining talent in this field, technology transfer and acceleration of projects and companies, scale up and market access for this type of drugs, relations with the healthcare system and public-private partnerships.

Next actions: Creation of working groups and projects launches

To address these challenges, Biocat will coordinate the project and will kick off various initiatives to meet the objectives of the Network. Biannual assemblies will be organized to facilitate communication and cooperation among the different Network members, and specific working groups will be created to address some of the previously mentioned challenges (talent, scaling, public-private collaboration models, relationship with the Health System, and access to citizens).

Additionally, within the framework of the Network, concrete projects will be developed, such as a three-year acceleration program for companies and projects in advanced therapies, the Advanced and Emerging Therapies in Health Program of Catalonia coordinated by the Blood and Tissue Bank (BST), and a members-only website to compile information related to the working groups and learn about the work and services offered by each entity. Biocat will also act as a connecting agent to identify opportunities and strategic initiatives in national and European public calls.

Advanced therapies (ATMP) are drugs for human use based on gene, cellular, and tissue engineering therapies. Despite their potential to offer new alternatives for patients, high costs and risks restrict their funding. The Advanced Therapies Network of Catalonia, coordinated by Biocat, drives research and development to make these therapies more accessible to the public. The initiative aims to position Catalonia as a global benchmark hub in advanced and emerging therapies.