Finding New Talent
The UK has an enviably strong advanced medicine R&D base, as evidenced by the high number of cell and gene therapy clinical trials under way – 12 percent of the world’s total as of January 2020 (1). In January 2016, UK politicians and industry leaders set up an Advanced Therapy Manufacturing Taskforce to help support the sector. One of its main recommendations? We must address the skills gap. Here, experts from the UK discuss how the country is tackling this thorny issue.
Netty England, Kit Erlebach | | Longer Read
Advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs) are opening up new therapeutic avenues for the pharmaceutical community, but despite the growing demand for cell and gene therapies, a significant skills bottleneck threatens to hold the industry back from its projected growth: the production process for ATMPs requires a highly-skilled workforce to maintain its operations – and there simply isn’t a large talent pool to pull from.
The UK’s Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult (CGT Catapult) published a report late last year detailing the skills demand of the industry – and there were clear concerns when it came to recruiting talent. Over 80 percent of respondents to an industry survey expressed their concerns about recruiting and retaining skilled individuals and highlighted a worrying fact: “a lack of skilled and experienced people will be one of the main issues that could slow down or cause a delay to the forecasted sector expansion” (2). Because of the complex nature of the CGT sector, individuals with prior industry experience in biopharma manufacturing are ideal to fill these roles, but the competition for these professionals is fierce. The question remains: how do we bolster the talent pool for CGT?
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