GAITHERSBURG, Md., April 20, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Caring Cross, a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to accelerating the development of advanced medicines and enabling access to cures for all patients, everywhere, announced today that Boro Dropulić, Ph.D., Co-founder and Executive Director of Caring Cross, will participate in a panel discussion at the inaugural Cell and Gene Therapy Summit on April 24-25, 2023 in Brussels. The event is sponsored by Economist Impact, a part of the global media and information company The Economist Group.
The panel, under the direction of editors from The Economist, will debate the challenges of developing and bringing cell and gene therapies (CGT) to market. Key topics to be addressed include the effects of the future of healthcare; reducing the cost of manufacturing; market access and reimbursement; policy and regulatory pathways; and investments and delivery and patient experience.
“There are significant challenges in bringing potentially curative CGT to the patients that need them affordably and sustainably,” said Dr. Dropulić. “The current centralized model for manufacturing and distribution of autologous CGT is expensive and leads to very high costs, limiting their access to underserved populations, including those in low- and middle-income countries. We need alternative solutions to improve affordability and access. I am looking forward to participating in the panel and lending my voice to the discussion in the hopes that we can make a collective step forward and bring transformative products and cures to market faster and in a more equitable manner.”
Dr. Rimas Orentas, Co-founder and Scientific Director of Caring Cross, commented: “One important goal is to decrease the cost of manufacturing CGT products. This includes the cost of vectors used to genetically modify the cells that target the disease. Another is how these products are distributed. For autologous CGTs, a point-of-care distributive model has several advantages over centralized manufacturing including lower cost of goods due to the lack of long-distance shipping and storage of cells, reduced infrastructure costs, shorter fresh-in fresh-out cell manufacturing processes, and decreased vein-to-vein times, which are critical for patients with advanced disease.”
Dr. Dropulić added: “We also have to rethink the development and reimbursement model for CGT, which are more expensive to develop and manufacture than drugs but can provide long-term and potentially a curative therapeutic benefit. One way to reduce the cost of developing and commercializing CGT products is by supporting organizations willing to cap their price after market approval to levels that are affordable and sustainable for private and national health systems. Organizations willing to cap their price after market approval could be supported by providing, for example, cost recovery during clinical development.”
About Caring Cross
Caring Cross is a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to accelerating the development of advanced medicines and ensuring access to cures for all patients, everywhere. To enable its mission, Caring Cross is developing technologies and therapeutic candidates to improve the accessibility, affordability, and applicability of CGTs like CAR-T technology and stem cell gene therapy. Caring Cross founded Vector BioMed, a for-profit vector contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO), specializing in rapid lentiviral vector manufacturing solutions, to provide the industry a source of affordable high-quality GMP Lentiviral vectors. For more information on Caring Cross visit https://caringcross.org/. For more information on Vector BioMed visit https://vectorbiomed.com/.