The Best Cell and Gene Therapy Conferences in 2024

What are the best Cell and Gene Therapy conferences to attend in 2024?  We asked our VP of Commercial Lindsey Clarke what her top picks are for the coming year.

It really depends on what your reasons are for wanting to attend an event. Do you have some exciting data that you want to share with the community? Are you looking to find out about the latest trends in technologies or what exciting things are happening in the industry? Is it to get an understanding of the bigger picture macro environment that could help with your work? Is it to get an idea of the latest trends in relation to the specific cell or vector types you are working with? Or is it that you’re looking to connect with others working in the industry and build your own personal network?  Each and every one of these is a valid reason for attending an event. But depending on your reason – there are different events which would suit you best.

Phacilitate – making connections within the global CGT community

I tend to kick my year off at Phacilitate’s Advanced Therapies Week – a global meeting that just keeps getting bigger.  It focuses on connecting the community and delving into the bigger picture of the industry as a whole, and is aimed at leaders in the field.  Whilst it’s probably not the event to be presenting in-depth technical data about a new methodology or technology –  this is for people who like back to back meetings with a smattering of talks – it is a great opportunity to connect with the wider industry globally and showcase new technology. The giant exhibition hall is filled with the latest innovations from suppliers and new companies popping up in the innovation zone.  Being at the beach with pleasant weather is also a good crowd pleaser, and the fun social events (boat party, beach yoga and the fun run) really help you make connections in the global community.

ISCT, ASCGT, and ESCGT – keeping up with the latest scientific advances

At the same time as enjoying winter sun in between meetings, January is also the time to polish up abstracts for the big scientific society meetings that are coming up in May in North America – ISCT and ASGCT.  The society meetings tend to be widely attended by the technical crowd and those running the early clinical trials, so there’s many of the scientists involved in basic research in academia and industry, as well as data from the clinic.  Lots of posters and talks on science and clinical progress make these events a great opportunity to find out what’s happening in the field. They’ll also be well attended by technology suppliers so you can find out about the latest pieces of kit that could help your research. And if you can’t justify the transatlantic flight, Europeans can look forward to their regional ISCT event and ESGCT in the latter part of the year.

Advanced therapies – a UK-based CGT event

Another global event that happens early in the year is Advanced Therapies in London. The ExCel is a vast events centre in east London, conveniently connected via the Elizabeth line direct to Heathrow.  With London being such a hub of cell therapy, there’s always a strong local crowd as well as many international guests.

Meeting on the Med and Mesa – bringing key stakeholders together on both sides of the pond

If connecting with colleagues globally is important for you then it might be worth looking into the work of the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine which is the leading international advocacy organization for the industry and brings together many key stakeholders.  It also holds two large events annually – one each side of the pond – Meeting on the Med and Meeting on the Mesa!

CAT-TCR – drilling into the details within cell therapies

If you’re looking for scientific detail, then events focussing on cell types such as CAR-TCR by Hanson Wade provide a more narrow scope, meaning you’ll get to meet others working in very similar fields.  Other niche events include important topics around manufacturing, analytics, regulations, supply chain, and automation.  By attending a niche event you’ll be guaranteed an audience equally interested in the event’s topic.

Alternatively if you want to learn from the broader bioprocessing community, then often the large bioprocess industry events have a cell and gene therapy manufacturing stream to them.

Don’t forget that it’s also really important to stay local.  Local societies help connect you with your local network and often support early career researchers. With meetings heavy on scientific content these events are great for connecting with the scientific community.  The UK has a strong history of local communities, from the AMC to the BSGCT, but there are plenty spread around the globe. Country level organizations include ATMP Sweden and societies like the NVGCT or the SFTCG in Europe, to more informal local community level groups such as the CGT Circle (you knew I had to mention it!!) There’s events out there for everyone.

To round up  – there are so many events which offer different things depending on what you’re looking for. You may want to mix up your conference schedule to include some big showcase general events that cater to the whole industry for broad updates and learnings, some local events to meet with the industry in your part of the world, and some really niche events to focus on the deep science of your area of interest.

Where can you find MFX in the next few months?

  • January 10-11 2024 – ESACT-UK, Stevenage
  • January 16-19 2024 – Advanced Therapies Week, Miami
  • February 27-29 2024 – CAR-TCR, London
  • March 19-20 2024 – Advanced Therapies, London
  • May 29-20 – ISCT, Vancouver