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04-Feb-2021

Alliance for Regenerative Medicine Responds to EU Beating Cancer Plan

Alliance for Regenerative Medicine Responds to EU Beating Cancer Plan

ATMPs are uniquely positioned to attack cancer at its source, bringing life-changing benefits to patients

 

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM – February 3, 2021

The Alliance for Regenerative Medicine (ARM) -- the ‘global voice’ of the regenerative medicine and advanced therapies sector -- applauds the EU Beating Cancer Plan’s identification of Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (ATMPs) as part of a comprehensive cancer solution. ATMPs include cell and gene therapies that have already revolutionized the treatment of some aggressive forms of blood cancers and hold great promise for addressing other types of cancer.

In particular, ARM:

  • Agrees with the Plan’s comprehensive approach, including its focus on addressing the root causes of cancer and promoting innovative, personalized cancer treatments. ATMPs for cancer, including CAR-Ts, in many cases are produced using a patient’s own cells – the very definition of ‘personalized’
  • Notes that there are already three EMA-approved CAR-T therapies to address aggressive blood cancers that have not responded to conventional treatments
  • Highlights that its members are developing similar therapies to address solid tumors, while gene-editing technologies – including CRISPR, which won the Nobel prize in chemistry in 2020 – have the potential to revolutionize cancer treatment by targeting some cancers at their genetic sources
  • Underlines the importance of cell and gene therapies in the future of oncology with roughly one half of all 383 Phase I cell, gene, and tissue-based therapy trials focused on immuno-oncology (as of Dec 2020)
  • Applauds the Plan’s links to the ‘European Health Data Space’ and its intention to address the current fragmentation of health data in the EU that could benefit HTAs, facilitate cross border treatment, and fast-track Real World Evidence/Data -- all of which would have clear benefits for patient access to life-changing therapies
  • Highlights its commitment to improving the quality of life for cancer patients and their caregivers, which ATMPs address via durable and potentially curative approaches. Additionally, ARM agrees with the Plan that people in the EU should have access to 'curative’ healthcare of good quality.

Paige Bischoff, SVP of Global Public Affairs at ARM, commented: “We believe that ATMPs are some of the most powerful weapons that we have to beat cancer. The Beating Cancer Plan recognizes that ATMPs should be part of a comprehensive cancer solution -- ARM looks forward to engaging with and supporting the EU’s efforts to harness the durable and potentially curative nature of cell and gene therapies. The existing treatments include EMA-approved ‘personalized’ CAR-T therapies, which genetically re-engineer patients’ own immune cells to identify and attack some forms of cancers. And looking to the future, innovation in gene-editing technologies may enable us to tackle some cancers at their source – the genome.”

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Last Updated: 04-Feb-2021