Hataali blockchain technology used to secure supply chain could lead to ‘standardized infrastructure’ for advanced therapy tracking.

Ben Hargreaves

November 2, 2020

3 Min Read
Blockchain platform offers advanced therapy tracking ‘vein-to-vein’
Image: iStock/ipopba

Hataali blockchain technology used to secure supply chain in the UK could lead to a ‘standardized infrastructure’ for cell and gene therapy tracking, says ATMPS.

ATMPS, a spin out from Farmatrust and the creator of the Hataali platform, tested the blockchain solution alongside the UK’s University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB).

UHB is home to the Midlands and Wales Advanced Therapy Treatment Centre, which is comprised of partners from the NHS, academia and industry. The center, one of three across the UK, delivers advanced therapies to UK patients.


Image: iStock/ipopba

Hataali was tested alongside the UHB’s system, where it was found that the blockchain platform was interoperable, with ATMPS suggesting that its platform had become the first functional blockchain solution for advanced therapeutic products.

The platform is utilized to record scheduling and ordering data for advanced therapy medicinal product (ATMP) treatments within a blockchain system that enables secure and confidential sharing of data between partners.

The solution allows for the activities of manufacturers, clinics, hospitals, and specialist couriers to be shared digitally, as well as being able to provide a regulatory audit trail. Essentially, a digital chain of records is created that allows for communication along each step of the supply chain.

In terms of what benefits this provides over existing platforms and the level of information available to stakeholders, a spokesperson for ATMPS outlined: “It’s not just an improvement on, say, serialization, as it gives on open access window to access user appropriate data – e.g. doctors can better plan appointments, regulators can be secure in the supply chain conditions, and patients and innovators can know exactly where the treatment is, and crucially be alerted if there is a problem.”

Beyond Birmingham

Now that the trial is complete, ATMPS plans to use this initial rollout as an example to widen the use of the platform. The spokesperson described the partnership with UHB as just the ‘start’ of the process, with the platform “designed to be multi-treatment, multi-site and multi-stakeholder.”

This sees ATMPS considering the next stage for the platform being UK-wide utilization. Eventually, however, the company foresees a global structure whereby each new advanced therapy that gets approved in various markets enters a ‘standardized infrastructure’.

For Hataali itself, this means that the developers have already created the platform to function across time zones and to include multiple languages.

Patent pending

The patent for the platform is currently still pending, which means that rivals could potentially create an alternative platform based on the same premise.

There are already existing tracking platforms available on the market, though their scope through the supply chain is more limited, such as TrakCel’s supply chain monitoring technology that is able to track manufacturing processes in real-time for cell and gene therapies.

However, the spokesperson for ATMPS was unconcerned about potential rivals, “Our solution is unique in that it is the only vein-to-vein solution out there that uses a blockchain foundation. So, even while it’s patent pending, I don’t think we will see many investors trying to bring forward a competitive solution,” they explained.

Furthermore, blockchain is complicated technically and any platform developed with this market in mind is required to be compliant with HIPAA and GDPR regulations, they added.

ATMPS’ spokesperson observed that those working in blockchain hold the ‘ethos’ and ‘mindset’ that collaborating and competing is the best way to push forward their own company, and healthcare more broadly.

They concluded, “We are always keen to explore joint opportunities and to work with other solution providers that are operating in this novel specialist area, and we have no problem with anyone working or integrating with us, competitors or not.”

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