Biopharmaceuticals: Economic data and progresses for patients by cell and gene therapies

The new Biotech-Report describing the situation of medical biotechnology in Germany is now available. It was provided by Boston Consulting Group for vfa bio. This yearly report is the only one recording all activities within medical biotechnology in Germany – ranging from startup to big companies. In addition to key economic data on medical biotechnology in Germany in 2019, the focus of this year’s report is on progresses for patients by cell and gene therapies.

Blau eingefärbte 3D-Abbildung einer grafischen Nachbildung von Stammzellen

Key economic data on medical biotechnology in Germany for 2019 at a glance:

Focus ATMP (= Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products)

ATMP are gene therapy medicinal products, cell therapy medicinal products, and tissue-engineered products. As of May 2020, ten ATMPs had a central approval in the EU, and thus also in Germany. ATMPs are novel in many ways, which is why they are also referred to as “novel therapies”. This novelty is associated with special characteristics in terms of their development, production, approval, and market access or reimbursement.

Compared to traditional pharmaceuticals, in which the active ingredient consists of a chemical molecule or protein, the active ingredients of ATMPs are nucleic acids (such as genes) or even whole cells or tissues. While traditional pharmaceuticals often have to be taken lifelong in the treatment of hereditary diseases, ATMPs could yield long-term therapeutic efficacy, or possibly even a cure, after a single application.

Courses of action to establish an “ATMP welcome” culture and structure in Germany

In 2018, Germany—with just 4.4%—trailed far behind the United States (47.5%) and China (39.2%) in the worldwide share of gene therapy studies with patients. In order to establish an "ATMP welcome" culture and structure in Germany and give the country a leading role in these promising and innovative technologies, we propose the following courses of action:

If these recommendations are implemented, Germany will be able to generate medical and economic advantages from innovations in the field of ATMPs instead of largely importing medical innovations. This would benefit not only Germany as a business location, but also society and the patients waiting for new treatment options.