Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (ATMPs) are at the forefront of biomedical research and are considered a ‘regenerative medicine’. This title can refer to such treatments as stem cell therapy, cell therapy and gene therapy – all are focused on replacing/regenerating human cells, tissues or organs in order to restore or establish normal function.
Cell therapy can be used to administer whole living cells to a patient in order to target a specific disease. Cells used in this treatment can originate from the patient (autologous source) or from another human (allogeneic source). Gene therapies are used to target and modify the expression of an individual’s genes or repair abnormal genes at the DNA/RNA level. Gene therapies can be administered using a variety of vectors, such as viral vectors, non-viral vectors and engineered vectors.
There are only a few licensed cell and gene therapies currently available on the market, although more are being developed by small biotechs along with ATMP branches of large pharmaceutical companies.
The ATMP industry offers potential solutions (some of which are patient-specific) to previously untreatable diseases. Advances in the field of cell and gene therapy could well be the future of medicine.
Like the biotechnology industry, the ATMP (Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products) market is considered to be a part of the next generation of therapeutics. This industry attracts scientists and engineers with a wide variety of skill sets and many are interchangeable and transferable with the biopharmaceutical industry. Companies working in this space range from spin-out biotechs to global pharmaceutical companies.