The UK’s emerging regulatory framework for point-of-care manufacture: insights from a workshop on advanced therapies
Cell & Gene Therapy Insights 2021; 7(9), 1005–1015
Point-of-care (POC) manufacture can be defined as the production of therapies in clinical settings or units close to hospitals and patients. This approach is becoming increasingly viable due to the emergence of flexible manufacturing technologies. Expecting an increase in this kind of production, the UK’s regulatory agency, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is proposing a regulatory framework specifically designed for POC manufacture. To discuss the challenges of POC manufacture and the MHRA’s proposal, the EPSRC Future Targeted Healthcare Manufacturing Hub (FTHMH) organized a workshop drawing insights from specialists in cell and gene therapy manufacture. Through presentations and discussion roundtables, the workshop highlighted the challenges for the UK and other countries implementing POC manufacture. The workshop attendees stressed four main issues: quality control; standardization and equipment use; availability of qualified personnel; and the challenges to be met by hospitals participating in POC manufacture systems. This commentary provides a summary of the points discussed in this workshop.