Thermo Fisher says its technologies and services can help reduce the cost and complexity of CAR-T manufacturing process, enabling greater access for patients.

Shreeyashi Ojha, Reporter

March 21, 2024

2 Min Read
IMAGE C/O: SHREEYASHI OJHA

Thermo Fisher is using its broad life science product portfolio combined with its contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) business to help expedite client cell therapy programs into and through the clinic, the firm said at Terrapinn’s Advanced Therapies Congress in London, UK this week.

“Our vision for cell therapy manufacturing includes not only modular instruments that can be physically and digitally integrated together, but the ultimate goal of giving you an end-to-end manufacturing process both centralized and decentralized; giving you full control,” said Russell Jarres, senior manager, strategic collaborations and alliances for cell and gene therapy (CGT) at Thermo Fisher Scientific, during his address.

Jarres highlighted the primary challenges related to expensive costs leading to a lack of affordability and intricate manufacturing procedures.

“We look at something as transformative as chimeric antigen receptor (CAR-T) therapy, it's an unfortunate reality that less than 3% of patients who can benefit from these therapies are actually able to receive them. This is due to a variety of factors. But the cost and complexity of the manufacturing process underpin [as the main] challenges.”

Jaress highlighted how Thermo Fisher TF is using "innovative automation" to mitigate cell therapy manufacturing bottlenecks. Incorporating technologies including Thermo Fisher’s Gibco CTS DynaCellect Magnetic Separation System and Gibco CTS Rotea Counterflow Centrifugation System for streamlined processes, he said “our 24-hour CAR-T manufacturing process shows promise for faster, cost-effective therapies, enhancing patient access.”

For this, the firm has dedicated a team of 12 scientists specializing in adapting processes onto the products while ensuring client transparency. This ‘cell therapy innovation’ (CTI) team aims to automate the entire process for expedited clinic entry.

According to Jarres, every project receives oversight from a dedicated project manager, enabling comprehensive involvement across Thermo Fisher's resources. Through the CTI team, customers benefit from early innovations, granting them a competitive advantage of up to two years compared to other therapy providers. Jarres cited an outstanding collaboration with Arsenal Biosciences initiated in 2020, concentrating on their engineered CAR-T therapy for solid tumors.

First signed in 2020, Thermo and ArsenalBio renewed their partnership to advance the development of production processes for cancer treatments last year. Under the terms of the deal, Thermo Fisher is supporting ArsenalBio to tackle specific challenges connected with cell therapy production by working as a team to aid advancement of a clinical-scale gene editing procedure. Moreover, ArsenalBio authorized early access to Thermo Fisher’s instrumentation and reagents.

With the assistance of Thermo Fisher's technology and backing, “ArsenalBio initiated clinical manufacturing for their flagship product, the autologous integrated circuit T cell therapy designed for platinum-resistant ovarian cancer, representing a noteworthy achievement in our partnership.”

About the Author(s)

Shreeyashi Ojha

Reporter, BioProcess Insider

Journalist covering the manufacturing and processing sectors for biopharmaceuticals globally.  

Originally from India, I am a Londoner at heart. I have recently graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London.  

Feel free to reach out to me at: [email protected].

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