ScaleReady launches $20m advanced therapy grant program

ScaleReady, in collaboration with Wilson Wolf, Bio-Techne, and CellReady, has launched a ‘G-Rex’ grant program aimed at advancing CGTs. We spoke to ScaleReady’s CEO to find out more.

Shreeyashi Ojha, Reporter

June 14, 2024

4 Min Read

The $20 million grant will provide cell and gene therapy (CGT) focused academic institutions and biotech firms with resources and services to optimize CGT production. Qualifying candidates will receive up to $300,000 in G-Rex devices, critical reagents, equipment, application support, and manufacturing consultation services. 

According to Wolf, its G-Rex platform, which stands for gas permeable rapid expansion, manufactures immune cells such as T cells, natural killer cells, and hematopoietic cells. As a production platform, G-REX works by letting cells obtain the exact amount of nutrients and oxygen they need without complex instrumentation and monitoring. It is used in nearly 50% of CGT clinical trials and four commercially approved T- cell therapies, the firm said.  

The grants will be awarded to applicants that provide a compelling overview of why a G-Rex grant would be beneficial for them. The program aims to advance clinical data generation, reduce the complexity of the development process, increase the manufacturability, throughput and scalability of existing or future CGT programs, and increase patient access to these potentially lifesaving therapies. 

BioProcess Insider spoke to John Wilson, CEO, ScaleReady and Wilson Wolf, about the grant program, G-Rex platform, and its wider impact on the advanced therapy industry. 

BioProcess Insider (BPI): What is the G-Rex platform? How does it ensure continuity between research, development, and manufacturing functions, and why is this continuity important? 

John Wilson (JW): G-Rex is the only integrated development and production platform to provide continuity between research, development, and manufacturing functions. It saves valuable time by ensuring that critical process parameters (CPPs) and critical quality attributes (CQAs) are conserved during translation or troubleshooting. Use of G-Rex helps establish a seamless link via platform continuity between the research labs, process development labs, and the GMP manufacturing center. This enables faster translation of new therapies into the clinic, by quickly and inexpensively implementing an optimized manufacturing platform that is suitable for each stage from discovery to commercial production. 

BPI: How does the G-Rex platform enhance the efficiency and scalability of the CGT manufacturing processes?    

JW: Through the program, we will provide recipients with a highly efficient G-Rex-based cell manufacturing platform, and/or optimize an existing G-Rex-based platform quickly and at low cost. Because of its unique technical attributes, G-Rex allows for linear scalability across its line, simplifying scale-up. With G-Rex making several commercial drug products, producing cells for nearly 50% of CGT clinical trials, and now becoming widely accepted as an all-in-one device, it’s time to apply automation selectively and thoughtfully. The simplicity of G-Rex allows us to implement the type of automation solutions that occur millions of times a day in a wide variety of mature industries. 

BPI: Who are the grant recipients? 

JW: The recipients will be academic and commercial institutions engaged in pre-clinical research, process development, and/or cGMP manufacture of cell and gene-modified cell therapies 

BPI: What specific criteria will be used to evaluate and select recipients for the G-Rex Grant Program? 

JW: To be eligible for the program, recipients must be engaged in research and development of CGT therapies based on or derived from T cells, NK cells, HSCs, etc. They must be working towards, or have, an existing Investigational New Drug (IND) application, and be interested in quickly establishing an optimized cGMP manufacturing process at low cost with minimal investment required. 

We will award G-Rex grants to applicants with a compelling overview of the need, a collaborative spirit and strong willingness to interact with ScaleReady to achieve program goals, who can demonstrate the necessary wherewithal in program management and identify clear deliverables. 

BPI: Can you elaborate on the types of ‘material resources and services’ that qualifying recipients can receive through the grant? 

JW: Under the G-Rex grant program, ScaleReady will provide the most appropriate combination of devices, reagents, and consulting support. This encompasses Wilson Wolf’s G-Rex devices, including well plates, bioreactors, the GatheRex Cell Harvest Pump and ancillary products, as well as Bio-Techne’s research grade and GMP reagents and cell culture media, and the TcBuster transposon/transposase system. 

In terms of services, ScaleReady may provide G-Rex optimization services, technical application support, and/or marketing support, while CellReady may offer process development and manufacturing services and consultation. 

BPI: How will the grant facilitate collaboration between grant recipients and the companies involved (Wilson Wolf Manufacturing, Bio-Techne, ScaleReady)? 

JW: The G-Rex grant will provide each recipient between $5,000 and $300,000 worth of materials and services from the participating companies, along with free consulting support, for up to 18 months – or longer if the partners mutually agree. At the onset of the program, ScaleReady will work collaboratively with the recipient during a series of discovery sessions to create a thorough understanding of the recipient’s goals. To achieve them, ScaleReady will then interact with Wilson Wolf, Bio-Techne, CellReady and the recipient to orchestrate a program plan. 

BPI: What impact do you anticipate the grant will have on the timeline for bringing new cell and gene therapies to market? 

JW: We expect access to G-Rex through the grant program will save valuable time (and money) by inheriting an expeditious pathway to clinical inflection points. 

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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