Kick-off of JOIN4ATMP: Mapping and driving European activities for Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products 

DATE February 12th, 2024

ATMPs are very promising treatments for the severely ill. However, the path leading to their registration and clinical use is long and fraught with difficulties. JOIN4ATMP, an EUHA-driven and EU-funded project, was launched in January to help accelerate the development and affordable access to ATMPs in Europe.

ATMPs (Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products) are at the very centre of healthcare innovation and can induce a paradigm shift in the treatment of diseases including cancer, autoimmune disorders, neurodegenerative disorders, and many rare diseases. Additionally, these therapies can be better tailored to individual patients than conventional drugs and are particularly suitable for the treatment of diseases that could previously not be treated or could only be treated inadequately.

The path leading to registration and clinical use of these therapies is long and often fraught with difficulties that compromise the equitable access to ATMPs and the extremely high cost threatens the sustainability of such products within EU healthcare systems. For example, despite the large number of ATMPs currently in development, only a few products have been approved for the European market due to regulatory and logistic hurdles that prevent the approval of new treatments. 

The JOIN4ATMP project comes in to accelerate and de-risk European ATMPs development and ensure their widespread access, through the mapping of obstacles, the audit of real-world-based solutions, and the definition of new paths forward.

In January, the kick-off meeting of this EU-funded project coordinated by Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin together with Ospedale San Raffaele in Milan took place in Berlin and gathered all consortium partners for an inaugural meeting and dialogues. The consortium operates at the Europe-wide level to bring expertise from all EUHA members, together with the biotech sector in the preclinical development, production, clinical trials, and regulatory approval of ATMPs.

The project is an EUHA-driven activity and results from the fruitful collaboration of EUHA members within the EUCCAT working group. EUHA members and university hospitals play a pivotal role within the consortium and will actively contribute to the sustainability of ATMPs at the European level. Their invaluable expertise, particularly in the development of ATMPs within academic settings and their subsequent translation into clinical applications, enhances the overall strength and impact of the consortium.

As mentioned by Johan Van Eldere, Secretary-General of EUHA, who attended the inaugural session:

To stay up to date with the JOIN4ATMP’s developments, follow the project on LinkedIn, X and the website.