New collaboration examines CAR-T patient referrals pathway gap

A group of leading institutions will identify and analyse CAR-T patient referral pathways in the UK to recommend future best practice.

As the spread and scale of CAR-T therapy widens, there is a need for more effective processes for referring patients for treatment. The process currently relies on national structures such as the National CAR-T Clinical Panel or regional clinical trial networks that identify patients who are eligible for CAR-T treatments.

This ABPI Collaborative Working project group has been set up to recommend a new framework for the referrals process. The project will be delivered by The Christie and NHS Blood and Transplant for the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult in collaboration with the Advanced Therapy Treatment Centre Network, Autolus Limited, Gilead Sciences Ltd and Janssen-Cilag Limited.

The project will capture the consolidated view of surveys, interviews and mappings at CAR-T treatment centres, carry out critical analysis of referral pathways, suggest improvements and outline the business case for change at the two sites of focus, The Christie and NHS Blood and Transplant.

The group aims to recommend a new framework, which will be informed by the following activities:

  • Survey a broad range of adult CAR-T treatment centres, secondary referrals centres, patient advocacy groups and governing structures
  • Interview key opinion leaders from survey responses to further explore their opinions
  • Map the patient referrals processes from secondary referrals centres into CAR-T treatment centres, highlighting best practice and evaluating root causes for ineffective practices
  • Define patient and healthcare professional requirements for a high-quality referrals process
  • Explore how equity of access is affected by referral practices and how current processes can account for anticipated changes in CAR-T environment.

Collaborations between industry and the NHS can help tackle challenges the healthcare sector faces and are crucial to ensure patients are able to access the medicines they need. This collaboration, working to recommend a more effective CAR-T referral system, could lead to many potential benefits including making the process quicker and easier for patients to understand.”

Matthew Durdy, Chief Executive of the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult