CGT and CTM CRC sign T-cell research agreement

The UK’s Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult and the Australian CRC for Cell Therapy Manufacturing will collaborate to advance scaffold technology for the commercial production of T-cells

The Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult (CGT) and the CRC for Cell Therapy Manufacturing (CTM CRC), the Australian centre for the translation of cell therapy technologies, have announced a project to test CTM CRC’s patented scaffold technology at scale.

The technology is designed for T-cell stimulation and expansion and the testing by CGT will provide independent supporting data for the ultimate commercial scale-up of this technology. 

The consortium will then investigate opportunities to apply this technology to commercial-scale cell expansion systems. If successful, this novel scaffold technology will provide a platform to generate large numbers of activated T-cells for cell-based immunotherapies. This platform technology could be applied to therapies for a range of clinical conditions such as cancer and autoimmune diseases.

Keith Thompson, CEO, Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, said: ‘The issue of scale in cell and gene therapies is one of the toughest challenges the industry faces. We need to be able to grow cells reliably and cost-effectively at scale to get these promising therapies to patients. This project is one of several in which we are looking at adapting technologies to achieve that scale-up. Collaborating with CTM CRC shows that it’s an international effort that’s needed to ensure we address the barriers in the industry.’

Developed across three of CTM’s participant organisations, The Women’s and Children’s Hospital, The University of South Australia and Queensland University of Technology, the technology is competitive with the current gold standard in T-cell stimulation and expansion at the laboratory scale. The consortium will use CGT’s experience in, and access to scaleup processes for cell expansion. 

Sherry Kothari, CEO, CRC for Cell Therapy Manufacturing, said: ‘We have a strong focus on addressing the cost of manufacture through intervention with smart surfaces and materials. This project is an example of how simple and cost-effective strategies are being applied to optimise and improve existing cell expansion processes. This collaboration with CGT provides the perfect vehicle to evaluate the translation and scale-up of promising technologies. International collaborations such as these enable rapid adoption by, and value-add to, a global industry, ultimately giving patients with currently untreatable medical conditions a better chance of access to life-saving therapies.’

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