Bristol Myers taps cash rich Cellares for CAR-T processing

Having raised $255 million and laid ground on a third facility, cell therapy technology firm Cellares has inked a deal with Bristol Myers.

Dan Stanton, Managing editor

August 29, 2023

2 Min Read
Bristol Myers taps cash rich Cellares for CAR-T processing

Having raised $255 million and laid ground on a third facility, cell therapy technology firm Cellares has added Bristol Myers Squibb to its Technology Adoption Partnership (TAP) program.

It’s been a busy week for Californian firm Cellares, having raised money, expanded its footprint, and bolstered its customer base by bagging Big Biopharma Bristol Myers.

Cellares, which leverages its modular and automated cell therapy platform – the Cell Shuttle – to address limitations in current advanced therapy manufacturing, will use $255 million raised in a Series C funding to launch a cell therapy facility in Bridgewater, New Jersey.



The firm’s third facility will be its first commercial scale plant and will have the capacity to produce up to 40,000 cell therapy batches per year based on a 7-day autologous process, once GMP-ready in the second half of 2024. This self-described “Integrated Development and Manufacturing Organization (IDMO) Smart Factory” claims to be 10 times more productive than traditional CDMO facilities.

The funding was led by Koch Disruptive Technologies and supported by Bristol Myers Squibb, which concurrently has inked a deal with Cellares to support an undisclosed chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy candidate.

Under the Technology Adoption Partnership (TAP) program Bristol Myers will enter a proof-of-concept transfer process using the Cell Shuttle.

The TAP is a follow-up to Cellares’ Early Access Partnership Program (EAPP) – which saw firms Poseida Therapeutics, PACT Pharma, and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center assess the Cell Shuttle pre-launch – and offers Bristol Myers an opportunity to adopt the automated manufacturing technology. The outcome looks to evaluate the automated manufacturing process and produce comparability data confirming the Cell Shuttle as a viable, cost-efficient, and scalable manufacturing solution for Bristol Myers’ CAR-T candidate.

“We’re pleased to welcome Bristol Myers Squibb to the TAP program, and we look forward to demonstrating the ease and efficacy of transferring one of BMS’s cell therapy process onto the Cell Shuttle in the months to come,” said Cellares CEO Fabian Gerlinghaus.

“By combining integrated automation with a high-throughput platform, the Cell Shuttle offers unrivaled scalability for the cell therapy industry, while improving quality and lowering COGS.”

About the Author(s)

Dan Stanton

Managing editor

Journalist covering the international biopharmaceutical manufacturing and processing industries.

Founder and editor of Bioprocess Insider, a daily news offshoot of publication Bioprocess International, with expertise in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors, in particular, the following niches: CROs, CDMOs, M&A, IPOs, biotech, bioprocessing methods and equipment, drug delivery, regulatory affairs and business development.

From London, UK originally but currently based in Montpellier, France through a round-a-bout adventure that has seen me live and work in Leeds (UK), London, New Zealand, and China.

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