Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (ATMPs) such as Gene and Cell Therapy medicinal products are innovative biopharmaceuticals with the potential to bring high therapeutic value. Especially the new gene editing tools such as CRISPR-Cas9 are expected to shift the focus of medicine from treating symptoms to curing diseases. However, especially their clinical development faces specific challenges. For products containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs), an additional risk assessment step in the clinical trial authorisation (CTA) procedure is required. Although a European regulatory framework for this matter exists, it has been implemented differently into the Member State (MS) national legislation, leading to different documentation requirements and review and approval frameworks between the Member States.
In this article, Theodor Tiko and Annegret Vaggelas review the current status of the European GMO legislation for gene therapy products in clinical trials, including its pitfalls for clinical trial applicants.