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Raw materials intended to be used for Gene, Cell and Tissue therapies: legal and regulatory considerations

This paper offers some insights on the European regulatory situation with respect to raw materials used in production of gene, cell and tissue therapy products, including advanced therapy medicinal products. By focusing on the existing EU and French rules, the purpose of this paper is to review the content and scope of the measures restricting their placing on the market and/or use, the legal implications and hence key challenges ahead. Also known under the specific term ‘ancillary products’ in France, raw materials are subject to a fragmented regulatory environment that could indirectly hinder innovation in this rapidly evolving area. Taking account of contamination risk that could originate from such materials, the question as to whether it is necessary to assure their quality and safety by means of one or various regulatory instrument(s) does not arise. Nevertheless, it is vital that, in a sector as innovative as this one, an appropriate and more predictable regulatory regime applies in Europe, which requires undertaking a constructive work aimed at harmonising the rules in relation to production of and trade in raw materials intended to be used for advanced therapies while ensuring the EU objective of public health protection: a work already in progress.