First UK SME to have novel cell therapy ready for supply to the NHS
London, UK, 11 March 2015 – The Cell Therapy Catapult and Cell Medica, leading players in the emerging UK cell therapy industry, are pleased to announce a collaboration to accelerate NHS adoption of Cell Medica’s Cytovir™ CMV. Cell Medica is a leading UK cellular immunotherapy company while the Cell Therapy Catapult is focused on the development of the UK cell therapy industry to increase the nation’s health and wealth.
Cytovir™ CMV is an individualised immune cell therapy that involves the infusion of immune cells from a donor into an immunosuppressed patient, in order to reconstitute their immunity to Cytomegalovirus (CMV). CMV is a member of the herpes virus family that is carried by up to 65% of the UK population as a latent virus. In people with a healthy immune system, the virus remains in the body without causing any infectious symptoms. In a patient whose immune system has been profoundly suppressed following a bone marrow transplant, CMV will often reactivate and can cause significant morbidity and mortality. Anti-viral drugs are currently the only available treatment option, however these are associated with complications and side effects, which limit overall effectiveness.
Keith Thompson, CEO of the Cell Therapy Catapult said: “We’re looking forward to helping Cell Medica with the preparations for seeking reimbursement in the UK for Cytovir™ CMV. This will be one of the first cellular immunotherapies to be considered for use within the NHS and as such, we believe it has real potential to help establish a framework to evaluate the healthcare benefits of novel cell therapies.”
Cytovir™ CMV is comprised of naturally occurring CMV-specific memory or effector T cells which can be purified from the blood of the original bone marrow donor and transferred to the patient to provide immunity to the virus.
Gregg Sando, CEO of Cell Medica said: “Having undertaken important clinical studies in the UK to demonstrate the benefit of Cytovir™ CMV, we are looking forward to collaborating with Cell Therapy Catapult to present the case for reimbursement within the NHS system. Advanced immune reconstitution techniques offer an alternative to antiviral drug therapies with harmful side effects. Reimbursement is required to make these cell therapies available to NHS patients.
Cytovir™ CMV is currently available to treat patients in the UK and Germany.
About the Cell Therapy Catapult
The Cell Therapy Catapult is a centre of translational excellence for cell therapy and regenerative medicine. Its vision is for the UK to be a global leader in the development, delivery and commercialisation of cell therapy, making it a location for business start-up and growth. Based in London at Guy’s Hospital, the centre takes products into early clinical trials, providing clinical, technical, manufacturing, regulatory, health economics & market access expertise. There is a focus on collaboration and lowering barriers to investment and funding, and operations have grown rapidly since inception. UK Trade & Investment has valued the global regenerative medicine industry at just over £500 million, and estimates that it will be generating revenues of over £5 billion by 2021. For more information go to ct.catapult.org.uk.
Catapult centres are being established and overseen by Innovate UK as a new addition to its range of programmes to stimulate innovation. They are places where the best of the UK’s innovative businesses and researchers work together to bring new products and services more quickly to commercialisation. Focusing on areas with great market potential, Catapults will open up global opportunities for the UK and generate economic growth for the future. For more information, please visit www.catapult.org.uk.
About Innovate UK
Innovate UK is the new name for the Technology Strategy Board – the UK’s innovation agency. Taking a new idea to market is a challenge. Innovate UK funds, supports and connects innovative businesses through a unique mix of people and programmes to accelerate sustainable economic growth. For further information visit www.innovateuk.org.
About Cell Medica
Cell Medica is a cellular therapeutics company engaged in the development, manufacturing and marketing of cellular immunotherapy products for the treatment of cancer and infectious diseases. Cellular immunotherapy is a new form of medical treatment, which has the potential to transform the treatment of cancer in the years ahead. The company has recently opened a ground-breaking international CITADEL Phase 2 clinical trial exploring the therapeutic benefit of a novel cancer immunotherapy product for the treatment of advanced NK/T cell lymphoma. The financing for this trial was provided in part by the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas. The company is targeting a range of cancer applications associated with the oncogenic Epstein Barr virus including lymphoma, leukaemia and nasopharyngeal carcinoma. In the infectious disease field, Cell Medica is developing Cytovir CMV for the treatment of cytomegalovirus infections and Cytovir ADV for the treatment of adenovirus infections. Both applications are aimed at treating and preventing infections in patients who are profoundly immunosuppressed following a bone marrow transplant. The clinical development of Cytovir CMV has been funded in part by The Wellcome Trust.
11th March 2015