March 2012 Supplement

Mastering Industrialization of Cell Therapy Products

    Incomes currently generated by the global cell therapy market are estimated to be ~US$400 million. That value represents 10 main products, some of which have been on the market since the late 1990s (e.g., Dermagraft and Apligraf, with >$100 million yearly revenues each). Cell therapy product revenues are low compared with those of the biopharmaceutical market (~$100 billion). But the market’s growth potential and clinical pipeline are leading to higher expectations. The sector’s compound annual growth rate (CAGR),…

Emerging Challenges in Cell Therapy Manufacturing

    The introduction of recombinant proteins and monoclonal antibody (MAb) products revolutionized the treatment of many diseases, including diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, cardiac disease, and cancer. These highly specific biologic therapies provide patients with life- saving approaches that are not possible with small molecules. MAbs in particular are a unique class of biopharmaceutical products that interact with and activate components of the immune system to provide such therapeutic benefits as tumor destruction by antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity…

Small–Batch-Size Production

    After coexisting as close cousins in the world of life sciences, the bioprocessing and cell therapy industries now find themselves as possible allies in the pursuit of solutions to small–batch-size production technology. As cell culture titers continue to increase and biotherapies become more “personalized,” pressure is increasing on the bioprocessing industry to find more cost-effective and flexible technologies for producing smaller batch sizes than before. At the same time, the cell therapy industry (renowned for its small–batch-size production)…

Meeting Lot-Size Challenges of Manufacturing Adherent Cells for Therapy

    Adherent cells such as adult primary cell lines and human multipotent (MSCs) and pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) present a manufacturing challenge as lot sizes increase from 109 (billions) to 1012 (trillions) cells (1). Typically, manufacturing platforms are good for one log of expansion. So new methods will be required to achieve commercially relevant lot sizes. Traditional two-dimensional culture methods have been used to grow anchorage-dependent cell types. Although such methods are reliable and well defined, they are very…

Meeting Regulatory Challenges for Cell-Based Therapies

    Many companies follow a general rule when assembling regulatory packages for presenting new biologics: Accentuate the aspects of your new biologic that mimic approved therapies. For companies working on cell-based therapies, however, that is a challenging task. The industry lacks established models, and the current European Medicines Agency (EMA) regulatory definition of a cell-based therapy is simply “an advanced therapy medicinal product” (ATMP) (see EMA guidance box). Regulations for cell therapies cannot always be compared directly with those…

Top 10 Regenerative Medicine Stories of 2011

    Geron Ends Stem Cell Programs in November: Big hope for a spinal cord injury trial, big loss for a field — the most discussed news of the year. Despite the company’s official comment citing a “purely business decision,” many professionals think that a “lack of impressive preliminary results” also played a role. The company is now seeking a partner to take over that trial. The effect on the cell therapy industry remains to be seen — but for…

Streamlining Cell Therapy Manufacture

    The cell therapy industry (CTI) is no longer a cottage industry; it is a distinct and sustainable component of the global healthcare sector (1). Today, CTI prospects are strong, with annual revenues exceeding US$1 billion/year, supported by improving investor sentiment and public support (1,–3). The next phase of CTI growth — toward a multibillion-dollar global industry — will depend on the biomanufacturing community innovating to meet growing market demands and providing products at affordable costs to healthcare payers.…

“Hard Cell”: Potency Testing for Cellular Therapy Products

Potency testing is defined in 21 CFR Part 600.3(s) as “the specific ability or capacity of the product, as indicated by appropriate laboratory tests or by adequately controlled clinical data obtained through the administration of the product in the manner intended, to effect a given result” (1). Potency measurement is especially important for complex products such as cellular therapies (CTs). It is considered an essential aspect of the quality-control system for a CT drug substance and drug product. It is…

Quality Control During Manufacture of a Stem Cell Therapeutic

Development and manufacturing of a therapeutic stem cell product requires extensive quality control (QC) to ensure the identity, quality, and safety of the cells. Here, we describe our QC pipeline to optimize the manufacturing of our MultiStem adherent stem cell product, which is in clinical trial testing for stroke, acute myocardial infarction, inflammatory bowel disease, graft versus host disease, and solid organ transplantation. Screening for growth, marker expression, immunosuppression, and multipotent differentiation — in combination with “-omics” screening for gene…