Overview 2019-06-11T12:19:54+01:00

Northern Alliance Advanced Therapies Treatment Centre

The Northern Alliance Advanced Therapy Treatment Centre (NAATTC), formally established in March 2018, is a consortium of twenty industry, NHS and academic organisations led by Newcastle Hospitals and the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service (SNBTS). The purpose of the centre is to develop the systems and infrastructure required to support the delivery of cell and gene therapies with the ultimate aim of increasing patient access to advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs) on a national level.

NAATTC’s vision is to increase patient access to advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs) regionally and nationally by growing a cost-effective clinical delivery pathway which meets the needs of the providers of advanced therapy products. The centre has a patient reach of circa 15 million spanning the North of England and Scotland and is working across two healthcare systems.

The centre will focus on all elements of the clinical delivery pathway from procurement of starting materials, near patient GMP, distribution and administration through to delivery of clinical trials and adoption and reimbursement across a range of advanced therapies and indications. This will entail the participation and collaboration of nurses, medical clinicians, hospital pharmacists, NHS managers, clinical commissioners and companies.


The NAATTC works across the north of England (Leeds and Newcastle upon Tyne) and Scotland.

Key Objectives

The key objectives of the NAATTC are to:

  • Identify all areas for improvement through gap analysis
  • Design, devise and implement solutions in these areas
  • Ensure that solutions are integrated across the clinical delivery pathway
  • Roll out and disseminate best practice regionally and nationally.

The Centre will deliver its objectives over 36 months via six Work Packages;

  1. Manufacturing and Preparation
  2. Supply Chain
  3. Patient-Centred Advanced Therapy Delivery
  4. Infrastructure, Reimbursement and Outcomes
  5. Wider Network Engagement
  6. Informatics

The Centre will develop best practice for safe and effective delivery of advanced therapies to patients. This will include robust and connected supply chains, tracking and tracing systems compliant with regulatory standards, patient follow up and data repositories and ultimately adoption and reimbursement based on clinical service delivery as well as product costs. A key component will be the use of informatics to achieve utility at scale in all elements of the clinical pathway, including product release.

The project will map Institutional Readiness Levels (IRLs; how far an organisation needs to adapt to embrace a new technology given pre-existing practices and infrastructure) for disruptive advanced therapies within the NAATTC and across the NHS and enable the therapies to achieve the highest IRLs within the time frame available. Close interaction between NAATTC, product and supply chain companies, regulators, health economists and healthcare commissioners will be essential to achieve this.

NAATTC’s innovative approach includes development with commercial partners of new and robust supply chains, tracking and capture processes, a harmonised Toolbox for procedures and processes, innovative training networks and novel ways to approach health and safety, including follow-up.

Leadership team

  • Neil Watson, NAATTC Co-Director
  • Marc Turner, NAATTC Co-Director
  • Finn Willingham, NAATTC Operations Manager
  • Michael Whitaker, Galen Biomed Ltd.
  • Jim Shaw, Newcastle University
  • Christopher Herbert, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Neil Bell, Autolus Therapeutics
  • Andy Baker, University of Edinburgh


Governance – Terms of Reference

The NAATTC is overseen by governance structures including a Steering Board, made up of representatives from each Partner Organisation, an Executive Team as detailed above, and a Clinical Advisory Group and Industry Advisory Group. Further details of these structures and their Terms of Reference are available below.

NAATTC Steering Board:

Steering Board

NAATTC Executive Team:

Executive Team

NAATTC Clinical Advisory Group:

Clinical Advisory Group

Clinical Advisory Group Membership

Trial Coordination Unit

Trial Coordination Unit

Our partners


Dr Séamus O’Neill, Chief Executive Officer
Dr Nicola Wesley, Chief Operating Officer

Alcyomics Ltd

Professor Anne Dickinson, Founder and Director

GE Asymptote

Dr John G Morris, Chief Executive Officer
Bill Shingleton, Alliances Manager

Autolus Therapeutics

Neil Bell, Senior Vice President, Clinical Operations
Jim Faulkner, Senior Vice President, Product Delivery
Helen Delahaye, Project Manager

Cell Medica

Karen Hodgkin, Chief Operating Officer

Chiesi Limited

Julie De-Almeida, Head of Market Access UK & Ireland
Tom Chubb, Rare Disease Manager


Emma Banks, Chief Executive Officer
Jamie Pollard, Head of Software Development

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

Dr David Irvine, Consultant Haematologist
Dr Samantha Carmichael, Lead Pharmacist – Clinical Trials/R&D
Melanie McColgan, General Manager, Specialist Oncology and Clinical Haematology

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Dr Christopher Herbert, Director of Operations for Research and Innovation
Professor Gordon Cook, Professor of Haematology and Myeloma Studies
Dr Beki James, Consultant Paediatric Haematologist
Debbie Beirne, Manager and Deputy Director of the NIHR Leeds Clinical Research Facility

Milteyni Biotec

Michele Giroux, UK General Manager

Newcastle University

Professor Jim Shaw, Professor of Regenerative Medicine
Professor Anne Dickinson, Strategic Research Adviser

NHS Blood and Transplant

Jon Smythe, Head of Cellular and Molecular Therapies

NHS Lothian

Professor Timothy Walsh, Head of Section/Lead of Edinburgh Critical Care Research Group, R&D Director – NHS Lothian

Newcastle Hospitals

Neil Watson, Clinical Director of Pharmacy and Medicines Management and Co-Director of the NAATTC
Finn Willingham, Operations Manager, NAATTC
David Caulfield, Assistant Director of Pharmacy, QA
Anne Black, Regional QA Specialist/Lead for Newcastle Therapeutics


Janet Downie, Chief Executive Officer
Sue Bruce, Head of Commercial

Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service

Professor Marc Turner, Medical Director SNBTS and Co-Director of the NAATTC
Professor John Campbell, Associate Director – Tissues, Cells and Advanced Therapeutics
Ewan Morrison, Director of Pharmacy, National Services Scotland

Fisher Bioservices

Richard Bazell, Supervisor, Client Services
Christopher Stone, Supervisor, Client Services
Neil Ridley, Consultant Project Director
Luke Wilson, Lead Account Manager


Dr Matthew Lakelin, Chief Scientific Officer
Ben Innes, Project Manager

University of Edinburgh

Prof Stuart Forbes, Director, Scottish Centre for Regenerative Medicine (SCRM), WP3 Co-Lead, Clinical Advisory Group Clinician Scientist Lead
Prof Andy Baker, Scientific Advisor
Lisa Wotherspoon, Advanced Therapies Clinical Trial Coordinator

World Courier

Simon Ellison, Cell and Gene Therapy Service Director

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