ISCT and CMaT collaborate to bridge critical skills gaps in cell and gene therapy sector

By ISCT Head Office posted 10-18-2021 11:59

  

Global partnership takes action to provide urgent training to upskill key personnel


Vancouver, Canada, October 18, 2021, - The International Society for Cell & Gene Therapy (ISCT) and The National Science Foundation (NSF) Engineering Research Center for Cell Manufacturing Technologies (CMaT) led by the Georgia Institute of Technology, announces today a new formal partnership to deliver educational programs.

ISCT and CMaT have formed a global partnership that will enable considerable workforce development as the limited number of skilled workers has developed into a serious barrier for rapid growth and product development for companies and clinical manufacturing centres across the cell and gene therapy sector.

The first joint-training program, ‘Workforce Development in Biomanufacturing – A Global Partnership with ISCT and CMaT’, has been developed by field experts from academic, regulatory, clinical, and commercial domains. It will focus on introducing key topics in cell and gene therapy manufacturing and development. ISCT and CMaT identified Cell and Gene Therapy (CGT) manufacturing as the most vital topic for its first course as this part of the sector requires a unique skillset and presents significant specific challenges for the existing biomanufacturing workforce and those transitioning from other related fields. This first course will run in the first quarter of 2022. Following the first course, additional hands-on practical modules specifically focusing on manufacturing, business development, licensing, and regulatory pathways will be announced.

“ISCT has long identified and taken measures to alleviate the skills shortages across the cell and gene therapy sector. ISCT has run a range of programs including forming our ISCT Early-Stage Professionals (ESP) Committee, responsible for our extensive Mentoring Program,” said Bruce Levine, president, ISCT. “Despite these efforts, growth in the CGT sector continues to outpace the professionals entering. This is a major issue for the sector that could become critical in the near future. As a result, ISCT is forming partnerships with organisations like CMaT to deliver a range of future courses for our global audience.”

“As the cell and gene therapy sector continues to see exponential growth, there is greater demand for sustainable education and ongoing cell and gene development,” said Krishnendu Roy, director, CMaT. “The rate of acceleration in the industry has ultimately created a gold rush for new talent. This has left a current skills gap and the need to cover this gap is increasingly urgent for the CGT sector to continue its growth. More skilled workers are currently lured towards lucrative compensation packages, resulting in high staff turnover and limited personnel and resources to train and educate the next generation. ISCT and CMaT have recognized the detrimental long-term effects that limited education and training will have on the potential for cell and gene development.”

ISCT will contribute its extensive cell and gene therapy translation expertise, as well as access to their expanded global audience. CMaT will contribute its extensive scientific expertise, and experience in developing and delivering training content. Specifically in cell manufacturing. CMaT’s network includes access to a wealth of prestigious centres of excellence across the United States. The partnership with CMaT will be especially valuable for the option of future delivery of in-person Good Manufacturing Practice training, due to CMaT’s network of lab teaching spaces and scientific resources.

About the International Society for Cell & Gene Therapy
Established in 1992, the International Society for Cell & Gene Therapy (ISCT) is a global society of clinicians, regulators, researchers, technologists, and industry partners with a shared vision to translate cell and gene therapy into safe and effective therapies to improve patients’ lives worldwide.
ISCT is the global leader focused on pre-clinical and translational aspects of developing cell and gene-based therapeutics, thereby advancing scientific research into innovative treatments for patients. ISCT offers a unique collaborative environment that addresses three key areas of translation: Academia, Regulatory, and Commercialization. Through strong relationships with global regulatory agencies, academic institutions, and industry partners, ISCT drives the advancement of research into a standard of care.
Comprised of over 2,400 cell and gene therapy experts across five geographic regions and representation from over 60 countries, ISCT members are part of a global community of peers, thought leaders, and organizations invested in cell and gene therapy translation. For more information about the society, key initiatives, and upcoming meetings, please visit: https://isctglobal.org@ISCTglobal.

About CMaT
The National Science Foundation (NSF) Engineering Research Center for Cell Manufacturing Technologies (CMaT) is a nine academic institution centre with four international partners. CMaT’s mission is to transform the manufacturing of cell-based therapeutics into a large-scale, lower-cost, reproducible, and high-quality engineering process. The centre’s vision is to bring affordable, curative therapies against incurable chronic diseases to everyone by focusing on the development of next-generation cell manufacturing technologies and data analytics, as well as training the future workforce in cell manufacturing. Workforce development is a critical component of CMaT’s mission, and the centre actively develops and implements programs at the high school, two-year colleges, four-year undergraduate and graduate levels to help prepare the cell manufacturing workforce of the future. www.cellmanufacturingusa.org

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