Plasticell, CGT Catapult and Imperial College London awarded with $1m to develop an integrated allogeneic iPSC platform.

Millie Nelson, Editor

August 9, 2023

2 Min Read
UK consortium awarded $1m to develop iPSC platform

UK Innovate Biomedical Catalyst has awarded Plasticell, CGT Catapult and Imperial College London with £800,000 ($1m) to develop an integrated allogeneic iPSC platform.

The two-year project will be led by Plasticell, a firm focused on developing stem cell technologies and advanced therapies. Additionally, the team includes the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult (CGT Catapult) an organization aiming to advance cell and gene therapies, and Imperial College London.

“This project is a valuable opportunity to develop an efficient and scalable way to manufacture allogeneic therapies that have potential to treat conditions like cancer,” said Matthew Durdy, CEO of the CGT Catapult.



“Plasticell and Imperial College London both hold great expertise working with iPSCs and natural killer cells, and we hope the collaboration will help unlock the potential benefits of these therapies.”

The funding will be used to develop a scalable and integrated platform to manufacture allogeneic induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) derived immunotherapies. The consortium said allogeneic therapies can be created from a master cell bank of pre-qualified, extended, and modified cells.

This differs from the available autologous therapies where cells are taken from individual patients, which means an allogeneic approach could result in commercial scale manufacturing. Thus, it is possible costs could be reduced and therefore more patients could have access to treatment.

Plasticell and CGT Catapult will develop and then combine two platforms to enable the production of iPSC-derived natural killer (NK) cells. CGT Catapult will be responsible for developing scaled-up processes and analytics to enable good manufacturing practice (GMP) settings.

CGT Catapult confirmed its staff will work closely with the Plasticell team to transfer their manufacturing process and supporting analytical methods for the project into its facility in London, UK. Then, the organization will work through the pre-agreed experimental plans and Plasticell employees will be involved in regular scientific review and planning meetings. The knowledge created during the project will be shared between the parties.    

Imperial College London will provide support for the in vitro characterization and analysis of the NK cells that are produced.

“NK cells efficiently attack malignancies in an allogeneic setting – the next generation of iPSC-derived NK cell-based immunotherapies will disrupt the standard of care in hard-to-treat cancers. These highly engineered allogeneic immunotherapies are generally expected to surpass current autologous products in terms of their cost-effectiveness, safety, and efficacy,” Yen Choo, founder of Plasticell, said.

This is not the first consortium CGT Catapult has been involved with. In August 2022, launched a consortium to advance manufacturing of personalized cell therapies.

About the Author(s)

Millie Nelson

Editor, BioProcess Insider

Journalist covering global biopharmaceutical manufacturing and processing news and host of the Voices of Biotech podcast.

I am currently living and working in London but I grew up in Lincolnshire (UK) and studied in Newcastle (UK).

Got a story? Feel free to email me at [email protected]

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