Cell Therapies

Demonstrating Scalable T-Cell Expansion in Stirred-Tank Bioreactors

Emerging cell therapies have excited the pharmaceutical industry because they indicate potential new pathways to treat some of the most life-threatening diseases. T-cell therapies currently are the flagship technology in cell therapy with recent US FDA approvals of Novartis’ Kymriah (tisagenlecleucel) and Gilead’s Yescarta (axicabtagene ciloleucel) treatments. Those therapies and others still in development use peripheral blood isolated lymphocytes (PBLs) modified with chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) or modified T-cell receptors (TCRs) to trigger the innate cytotoxic response of these immune…

Cost Analysis of Cell Therapy Manufacture: Autologous Cell Therapies, Part 2

In part 2, we continue to analyze manufacturing costs of an autologous cell therapy. A typical process involves the expansion and activation of cells derived from a single patient, which is currently very labor-intensive. To date, there is little published information on overall production costs (1). In part 1, we used a software modeling platform to identify opportunities for potential cost savings. We developed a baseline model of a cell therapy manufacturing process using the production of autologous dendritic cells…

Cost Analysis of Cell Therapy Manufacture: Autologous Cell Therapies, Part 1

Cell therapies are a growing area of interest for the treatment of a number of indications such as neurological, cardiovascular, and ophthalmological maladies that are refractory to other more conventional drug therapies. A number of cell-based therapy products currently are undergoing clinical trials. The most common target is oncology, which represents 46% of all cell-based therapies through the use of traditional blood-cell and immune-cell–based therapies. For treatment of various cancers, immune cells, lymphocytes (natural killer cells, T cells, and B…

Sourcing Clinical-Grade Human Tissue: Considerations for Supporting Cell Therapy Development and Production

The rapidly developing global cell therapy market poses numerous industry challenges for drug development, process scalability, commercialization, and patient safety. The processes of procuring donated human tissue for clinical applications are fraught with many technical, ethical, and legal issues. Allogeneic cell therapies involving primary cell types such as bone marrow mesenchymal stromal/stem cells (BM-MSCs), hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs), and T and natural killer (NK) cells for immunotherapy applications are especially challenging because of the vigorous process of screening…

Driving Cell Therapy Innovation: Applying Key Lessons from the Evolution and Commercialization of Protein-Based Therapies

After many trials and errors — and milestones — regenerative medicine has become a mainstream part of the biopharmaceutical industry, supported by at least 670 companies and clinics of all sizes. But many experiences in the protein-based industry segment can be leveraged to further improve successful commercialization of advanced therapies. At the 2017 Biotech Week Boston conference, BioProcess International editor in chief Anne Montgomery hosted a panel of industry cell therapy experts to discuss key lessons that can be gleaned…

Cell Expansion with Dissolvable Microcarriers

In recent years we have seen an exponential increase in the number of companies testing and validating new regenerative medicine products. Many of these products are reaching late-phase trials with the potential to receive final approval and marketing authorization from regulatory agencies such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA). In the past several years, we have seen successful launches of regenerative medicine products, including Holoclar (Holostem Advanced Therapies), Kymriah (tisagenlecleucel, Novartis), Yescarta…

eBook: Bioinks for Bioprinting — Three-Dimensional Printing in Research and Medicine

Three-dimensional (3D) printing is one method of digital biomanufacturing for both basic biological research and translational, clinical applications. The medical field has used it to create such constructions as 3D surgical models for preoperative planning, to assist surgeons in their procedure preparations, which improves postsurgical outcomes. Examples here include generation of cleft-palate models (1), orthopedic applications (2), and cardiovascular surgical planning (3). Other forms of 3D printing for biological applications — such as 3D bioprinting — go beyond such surgical…

Process Development of Microbial Plasmid DNA: Fast-Tracking with Modular Single-Use Minibioreactors

There has been a rapid rise in the number of positive clinical outputs from clinical studies based on gene and cell therapies. This is in addition to the licensing of products such as GlaxoSmithKline’s Strimvelis ex-vivo stem-cell therapy for treatment of severe combined immunodeficiency caused by adenosine deaminase deficiency (ADA-SCID) in 2016 (1) — has led to an increase in demand for therapeutic vector manufacturing capabilities. Viral vectors are being used for an increasing range of conditions, including monogenetic conditions.…

The Cell and Gene Therapy Industry: Looking at 2016 and Beyond

Politically 2016 was surprising and dramatic here in the United Kingdom and elsewhere. Although it was not surprising for cell and gene therapies per se, the growth that we have seen in this industry has been pretty dramatic around the world as well. The industry has seen investors of all types maintaining their interest in cell and gene therapy, with a number of new deals made: e.g., Bluebird bio and Medigene signed a strategic R&D collaboration and licensing agreement, and…

Introduction: Process Issues in Cell, Gene, and Tissue Therapies

It’s hard to believe that just six years ago, BioProcess International published its first cell therapy supplement, which included just one article on “cell therapy bioprocessing” (1). At the time, most such processing was conducted in special clinical laboratories and academic institutions. As BPI continued to cover this relatively new segment of the biopharmaceutical industry, we heard more about “the product is the process” and “scale out instead of scaling up.” After many trials, errors, and milestones, regenerative medicine has…