Harnessing the potential of innovations in advanced therapies by working together across Newcastle Health Innovation Partners (NHIP) for the benefit of patients.
By Dr Mark Jarvis, director of Newcastle advanced therapies at Newcastle Hospitals
Advanced therapies are life changing biological medicines which treat disease and injury.
These therapies can be genes, tissues, and cells – or a combination of all three – that can be manipulated, processed, or engineered to provide a solution to rare and common conditions that have limited or even no treatment or cure.
Some examples of advanced therapies include genetic engineering of T cells, a specific type of white blood cell that helps fight disease, and the creation of new tissues from stem cells to repair damaged organs.
Advanced therapies are at the cutting edge of medicine and our team improves patient access to innovative and life changing treatments for over 300 patients every year, through providing expert services in processing, storage and manufacturing cell, gene and tissue products.
We are recognised nationally and internationally as a leading centre for the implementation and delivery of advanced therapies.
Our qualified scientists, quality assurance experts and production specialists have a track record of working with clients and partners across the full advanced therapy development process from early research to production of licensed medicines.
- We are the only bone marrow transplant service in the UK that can deliver a full range of cellular therapies for both adults and children
- We are one of the largest providers in the UK for Chimeric Antigen Receptor T cell (CAR-T) therapy which we provide for patients at the Northern Centre for Cancer Care across our region and beyond.
The co-location of scientists, clinicians, pharmacists, and specialist laboratories has enabled the collaboration across Newcastle to work with a significant number of commercial partners to enable innovation to directly benefit patients.
- The first centre in the UK to treat patients with gene therapy for duchenne muscular dystrophy
- The first in Europe to treat patients with gene therapy for Pompe disease
- World first for stem cell therapy in stroke patients.
Our team is also involved in several collaborative research projects including rheumatoid arthritis, myocardial infarction, and stem cell transplantation.
We work with Newcastle University to support ‘bench to bedside’ translational research and clinical delivery of these therapies to treat a wide range of patients.
As director of advanced therapies, I work closely with colleagues to ensure the hospital and university build on our expertise and engage collectively with the broader partnerships to increase access to advanced therapies for patients across our region and beyond.
The strength in collaboration between the partners, and in addition the momentum created by the Newcastle Health Innovation Partners has enabled us to deliver some key successes in advanced therapies.
The UK is a world leader, second only to the US, in cell and gene therapies with the number of new clinical trials and the number of approved licensed medicines predicted to significantly increase over the next ten years. This will have an impact on many patients and families who are faced with a debilitating condition that currently has no cure and where advanced therapies could provide hope.
Here at Newcastle Hospitals patients are at the centre of everything we do, and we strive to be at the forefront of advanced therapies providing the clinical and scientific expertise required, the regulatory governance and oversight to ensure that these medicines are safe, and the specialist laboratory infrastructure and expertise required to produce high-quality medicines to treat a range of diseases.
Our team is a real enabler to take forward the scientific and clinical expertise in Newcastle in this field which is bolstered by partnership working and through the specialist knowledge, expertise, and environment we provide.