iMATCH funding

Press release posted 22 March 2024

A consortium led by Professor Fiona Thistlethwaite, Medical Oncology Consultant within the ECMT (Experimental Cancer Medicine Team) at The Christie NHS Foundation Trust and honorary professor of oncology at The University of Manchester, has secured new funding from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) for iMATCH (Innovate Manchester Advanced Therapy Centre Hub), as part of the Advanced Therapy Treatment Centre (ATTC) network.

Fiona Thistlethwaite
Professor Fiona Thistlethwaite

In total, this initiative will provide a further £17.9m of funding over 4 years for the Advanced Therapy Treatment Centre Network. This funding represents a significant step forward in the work to advance gene and cell therapy research and treatment for cancer across the UK.

iMATCH will be the lead centre in the northwest, with plans to expand the network by incorporating additional clinical and academic partners. Moreover, they will establish an extended industry advisory group comprising commercial partners, who will contribute valuable insights and expertise.

Professor Fiona Thistlethwaite said: “We are delighted to have achieved onward funding for the ATTC network including iMATCH. It means we will be able to progress the work we started in 2018 to scale up activity and overcome barriers in complex cell and gene therapies with Manchester at the heart of these developments. We’re now well-positioned to take gene and cell therapy research and treatment to the next step, move completely away from the more traditional one-size-fits-all approach, and improve personalised medicine for all our patients in the future.

"This funding represents a vote of confidence in our team and our vision, and we are committed to maximising its impact for the benefit of patients and the wider communities we serve. This is an exciting journey of innovation and discovery, with the goal of improving outcomes for individuals affected by hard-to treat cancers.”

Last updated: March 2024