Article: How to Connect Therapies to Patients

By Simon Ellison |

Reliable, innovative, scalable logistics are required for cell and gene therapy success.

Cell and gene therapies are now a commercial reality, with multiple treatments on the market, significant investments being made and a strong pipeline coming through late stage clinical trials. However for the industry to become a viable long-term commercial proposition it needs to optimise its supply chain. If a therapy is not delivered to the patient, its efficacy, reimbursement potential and COGS are irrelevant because the patient gains no benefit.

Logistics past, present and future 

In the past logistics was seen as a unit operation that could be ordered at the last minute. This worked in the early stages of cell and gene development as shipping movements were across a campus; meaning that logistics providers operated as simple vendors, providing a service as required. Therefore although reliability was key, innovation and scalability were not major concerns because therapy developers had a bigger focus on issues like repeatable manufacturing.

Currently the vein-to-vein paradigm is growing, where therapy developers are trying to understand all the critical steps from donation to therapeutic delivery. This results in logistics being analysed earlier in the supply chain design process, and logistics providers striving to develop partnerships where they could add value through their detailed understanding of the constraints around shipping times, ports of entry, regulations and more 

Innovating for the future 

For World Courier this has enabled us to build on established operations and deliver advanced therapies at clinical and commercial scale.  Indeed  examples abound where our associates have taken ownership of issues, even volunteering to hand carry shipments into disaster areas to ensure patients are treated.

Through our logistics platform we are now driving innovation into the cell and gene supply chain to ensure patients benefit from these life changing therapies.   There will be further announcements about the evolution of the logistics platform but in the meantime the future of cell and gene therapy logistics is exciting and World Courier is working with the industry, via Key Opinion Leader events, ISCT Commercialisation Committee, Standards Coordinating Body and more to understand the evolving challenges. 

About The Author

A portrait of Simon Eliison.

Simon Ellison

Cell and Gene Therapy Service Director 
World Courier
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