Santen Cell & Gene is committed to collaborating with external stakeholders in the ophthalmology and innovative therapy fields to better understand their needs and learn from their experiences. These interactions are a critical part of preparing for the launch of future cell and gene therapies in the most patient-centric manner possible. On 23 November 2022, we organized an external stakeholder meeting in Madrid, Spain. We brought together three patient representatives from the CRB1 patient association (CRB1 is one of the genes that, when mutated, can cause retinitis pigmentosa) and Jose Luis Trillo Mata, former Pharmaceutical Director of the Valencian Health Agency and current Head of the Pharmaceutical Service in the Malvarrosa Clinical Department of Valencia, to discuss their hopes, expectations, and needs around innovative therapies. Through this interaction, we were able to find out more about the experience of people with an inherited retinal disease (IRD) and the way in which it has impacted their lives. Given the significant differences between traditional pharmaceutical drugs and cell and gene therapies, we also took this opportunity to discuss the state of the current healthcare ecosystem and the key challenges in developing and commercializing cell and gene therapies. We then discussed with the stakeholders how we could collaborate to create an environment which addresses unmet needs and optimizes patient access to cell and gene therapies.