Thermo Fisher platform seeks to expedite donor cell cultivation for allogeneic cell therapies
One of the world’s leading CDMOs has launched a new technology it says will expedite a quickly-growing sect of biotech drug development: off-the-shelf, allogeneic cell therapies.
It’s been nearly a decade since the FDA approved the first use of the method that uses healthy donor cells to create a master cell bank, which is then used for specific therapies — a cord blood allogeneic treatment called Hemacord. In the years since, the use of allogeneic cells has taken off in research circles, most notably in the use of T cell therapies to target solid tumor cancers.
Thermo Fisher, the Waltham, MA manufacturing giant, now has technology that it says will expedite the ability of its clients to harvest and cultivate those healthy donor cells, thereby getting drugs developed and into the clinic sooner.
Called Gibco CTS OpTmizer Pro Serum Free Medium, the serum-free platform targets the metabolism of healthy donor cells, which Thermo Fisher says makes it ideally suited for use in producing the allogeneic cells. As for culturing new donor cells, the technology functions by developing and expanding human T cell memory, enhancing cell proliferation, maintaining central memory T cells further into expansion, and delaying the effector differentiation of healthy donor cells.
All told, this results in faster and increased production of the central memory cells key to allogeneic therapies.
“Precision medicine promises to transform the future of patient care, but the high cost prevents widespread access to potentially life-saving therapies,” Orjana Terova, Thermo Fisher’s director of product management around cell culture and cell therapy, said in a statement. “Our goal is to help researchers advance the development of allogeneic cell therapies to make precision medicine more accessible.”