Multiply Labs and Thermo Fisher Scientific expand partnership to automate cell expansion and separation

Published: 14-Feb-2024

Automating GMP-ready instruments using robotic technology helps reduce costs and accelerates timelines

Through integration with Multiply Labs' robotic technology, Thermo Fisher Scientific’s cell therapy instruments, including the Thermo Scientific Heracell VIOS Automated Access CO2 Incubator and the Gibco Cell Therapy Systems (CTS) Rotea Counterflow Centrifugation System can now be fully automated for cell therapy manufacturing. 

This collaboration is an important step forward for cell therapy development and manufacturing with a goal of supporting reduced costs, accelerated production timelines and improved scalability, helping cell therapies reach more patients.
With the automated Heracell VIOS Incubator, up to 18 products can be hosted in parallel when using G-Rex100M bioreactors. This is a steep increase over traditional manual manufacturing, where one or two G-Rex100M bioreactors are used in parallel in a single incubator. 

The ability to support 18 products at once per incubator signals future scalability, as with two automated incubators, manufacturers would be able to create 36 products at the same time and scale upwards from there as incubators are added.
Furthermore, by automating Thermo Fisher’s CTS Rotea Counterflow Centrifugation System, key manufacturing steps including upstream and downstream cell processing, can be performed automatically. 

Therefore, automation supports not only increased throughput but also lower labor cost, as these important processes can be executed by a single manufacturing operator. For comparison, traditional manual manufacturing processes typically require 4-8 operators.

An end-to-end automated workflow using robotic technology only requires 400-500 sq ft of space compared to the 1000-2000 sq ft of space required for human-operated workflows.
Xavier De Mollerat Du Jeu, Senior Director of Research and Development at Thermo Fisher Scientific said: “With so many groundbreaking cell therapies available or forthcoming for patients, we cannot afford to let manual processes reduce scalability and stand in the way of access. Not only are we taking our incubator partnership to the next level to deliver a fully-automated GMP product, but together we will engineer the automation of our latest-generation closed system centrifuge – an essential instrument for cell therapy manufacturing,” he added.
Multiply Labs recently demonstrated that automated and manual cell expansion processes are statistically equivalent. This implies that manufacturers can automate their current cell expansion protocols with minimal alterations and reduced regulatory risk.

You may also like