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The Phacilitate Blog

Bringing together news and articles


We get better by empowering the person who sits beside us...

Sometimes it's not the keynote presenter that creates the game-changing takeaway. As a conference organiser, you might find it ludicrous to hear me say that. After all, these are the people we shout about the most when we encourage you to buy a ticket! 

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Umbilical Cord Blood Market - Diversification into New Types of Perinatal Tissues

Although cord blood banks have preserved umbilical cord blood since the 1990s, cord tissue storage did not emerge as a commercial service until 2008, when a Taiwanese company, HealthBanks Biotech Company Ltd., began offering the service. HealthBaby, a Hong Kong based ....

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Accelerating Patients' Access to Advanced Therapies in the EU

Pharmaceutical developers are continuously searching for potential drug development targets.1 The time frame to develop and bring a new drug to the market may take 15 years, on average, starting from concept to final marketing, and the cost is likely around a billion dollars. Although technological advances, such as high-throughput identification of agents...

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Ancillary materials: now, more than ever, at the core of new cell therapies

Raw materials have been, and will continue to be, at the core of new sets of therapies coming out over the next decade. Why? Simply because they are either scarce or limited, such as off-the-clot AB serum, or because they encompass a high risk, which is the case for animal-derived components. For this type of materials, concerns with traceability and viral inactivation steps (high risk areas) are often raised, as well as costs associated with quality/regulatory compliance for materials that have only been used as research grade components previously.

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Cord Blood Industry "Consolidation and Maturation"

Within the cord blood industry, there was a relatively strong growth during the early 2000s. However, during the past five years, the market has substantially matured and consolidated. On the upside, strong industry growth has continued within North Asia (led by China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan) and Southeast Asia (led by India and Malaysia). Unfortunately, growth of the North American market has...

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Meeting Report: Lessons from the first ATMPs

24 September 2017: It is one thing to research and develop an advanced therapy medicinal product (ATMP), but quite another to bring it successfully to market. Among the nine ATMPs approved in Europe since 2009, only five are still on the market. The reasons for the slow commercial acceptance of these products were discussed at the Phacilitate cell and gene therapy conference in Berlin, Germany on 21 September 2017....

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9 Major Changes to Expect at Phacilitate Europe 2017

Novartis have made history as the first pharma company to gain approval of a CAR-T product by the FDA and can be crowned definitive winners of what has been an eagerly followed race over recent years. It’s an exciting time for our colleagues in cell and gene therapy....

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Biomakers Response

Immune checkpoint inhibitors have changed the landscape of cancer treatment as a whole. In October 2015 alone, the US FDA approved two therapeutics (Keytruda & Novolumab) targeting PD-1 in metastatic NSCLC, and this effective new treatment mode is starting to provide invaluable options for clinicians and their patients...

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Lab on a chip: Stem Cells create "mimi-organs"

The list of miniature organs is growing (these 'mini-organs' take the form of an organiod - a 3D organ-bud grown in the lab). For decades, drug discovery has relied on immortalized cell lines and animal models to investigate signalling pathways, gene expression, disease mechanisms, protein synthesis, drug safety, efficiency and ultimately predict clinical utility...

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Genetically modified cell-based therapies

The reported powerful efficacy immunotherapies using genetically-modified effector cells has the potential to profoundly change the treatment of some cancers.  However, the cutting-edge technologies used create a number of challenges for commercialisation, not least in terms of acceptability by regulatory authorities.  This article considers some of the issues...

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  • "The event reflected the fantastic growing enthusiasm around cell and gene therapy, including small and large companies, investors and regulators. It was great to see everyone so engaged and so positive. The event really gives you the “pulse” of what is happening right now in cell and gene therapy."
    Anne-Virginie Eggimann,
  • “Great program, great people, great venue.”
    Klaus Kühlcke
    Managing Director, EUFETS GmbH
  • Dynamic, interesting and highly interactive event that promotes exchange and networking in highly specialized field of gene therapy.”
    Nathalie Clement
    Associate Director, Powell Gene Therapy Center, University of Florida
  • "Phacilitate provides a unique forum, bringing together research, process development, and commercial leaders on the cutting edge of cell, gene, and immunotherapy. A great conference for anyone wanting a comprehensive view of the field."
    Dr James Trager
    Vice President, Research & Product Development, Dendreon
  • "It was all business. I’ve never been to an event where over 80% of the conversations I had were constructive to my business objectives."
    Kurt Gielen
    Acquisition & Business Development Manager, BioMedical Materials, Chemelot Campus B.V.
  • “Great way to expand network with global experts in cell and gene therapy who are facing similar challenges.”
    Steven Goodman
    Director, Strategy and Engagement, GSK