Last year, eight cell and gene therapies were approved in the US and EU, with the scope only continuing to increase. With this growth, experts gathered at Clinical Trial Supply (CTS) Europe to discuss the challenges these blockbuster treatments pose to the supply chain. 

Leading the session “Current challenges in the supply chain and future trends”, global depot network director at the CRO SanaClis Allan van Konynenburg delved into trends such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, and cybersecurity, but “out of all trends, cell therapy is front and centre in terms of what’s possible,” he said. 

According to GlobalData’s Pharma Intelligence Centre, the cell and gene therapy market is projected to reach sales of $80bn by 2029 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25%–30% over the next few years. However, despite the potential, they present challenges for the supply chain. 

One of the challenges is time and temperature sensitivity. The therapies often have short half-lives, needing ultra-cold ice/liquid nitrogen storage that requires seamless cold-chain capabilities and contingency workflows: “How do we how do we ensure that we have that robust seamless supply chain in place and have the right sort of capabilities?” said Konynenburg on handling this. 

Another challenge is the financial burden to companies – cell and gene therapies have high-value pricing due to their complexity, meaning robust mitigation is needed for risks involved in the supply chain.  

On pricing, Konynenburg said: “If we think of traditional commercialisation models, including pricing and contracting models – one size doesn’t fit all. We expect to see an exponential increase in the number of gene therapies, with an industry ready to rethink some of those commercial commercialisation models around pricing and contract.”  

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Concluding the session, Konynenburg looked ahead to the rest of 2024, saying geopolitical tensions and upcoming elections that can have an impact on the industry mean “that we continue to live in uncertain times”. 

Cell & Gene Therapy coverage on Pharmaceutical Technology is supported by CytivaEditorial content is independently produced and follows the highest standards of journalistic integrity. Topic sponsors are not involved in the creation of editorial content.