Press release: Novel cell growth and measurement techniques unveiled at ISCT 2017

Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult accelerates UK’s immunotherapy R&D capabilities

New technologies developed in collaboration with the Cell and Gene Therapy (CGT) Catapult presented at the 2017 International Society for Cellular Therapy (ISCT) annual meeting will further accelerate the UK industry’s ability to develop commercially viable cell and gene immunotherapies.

A range of novel techniques include a potency assay designed to accurately measure the action of gene-modified T-cells in attacking and killing cancer cells.

Gene-modified immunotherapies have the potential to radically transform the way we treat certain cancers, but using cells from patients who have undergone different front-line treatments can lead to variability in the final product and so risk to patients.

To address this, we have developed a novel assay which measures the potency of these immunotherapies through changes in electrical impedance. The assay is faster, safer and more reliable than conventional tests.

Keith Thompson, Chief Executive Officer

Further presentations from the CGT Catapult at the ISCT meeting include a new strategy to generate pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) at a sufficient scale to support industrial supply. The approach, which involves the use of stirred tank reactors (STR) to allow closed processing, was shown to significantly increase cell expansion whilst maintaining the critical quality attributes of the cells. This work is supporting a future cost-effective strategy for PSC manufacture which will enable bigger, more extensive clinical trials and allow these promising treatments to benefit large patient populations.

A collection of MSC cells taking using a microscope at Cell and Gene Therapy Catapults R&D laboratories at Guy's hospital, London

In a separate study presented at ISCT, STRs were shown to be useful in generating high cell yields and a relevant cell manufacturing option in both allogeneic and autologous settings.

ISCT’s presence in London this year shows our industry evolving and adapting to meet the needs of companies developing next-generation therapies, as we prepare to fully open the CGT Catapult cell manufacturing collaboration centre which is already enabling firms to plan to serve the global market from the UK.

Our mission is to underpin the rapid growth of the UK cell and gene therapy industry by addressing the fundamental building blocks of industrialisation and manufacturing through high quality research and development. Our novel approaches not only demonstrate our commitment to help businesses with bold visions to make cell and gene therapies the future of medicine, but will further establish the UK as a standard-setter for excellence in research, development, and product manufacturing and commercialisation.

Keith Thompson, Chief Executive Officer

Other CGT catapult presentations at the ISCT meeting included routes to optimise assays for stem-cell derived exosome cells containing microRNAs, molecules critical to regulating gene expression.

In less than five years, the CGT Catapult has played a significant role in transforming the UK’s capability in the cell and gene therapy field.

Full list of CGT Catapult Presentations at ISCT 2017

Dr Jacqueline Barry, Chief Clinical Officer
Industrializing the vein to vein supply chain
Thursday 4 May, 15:30 - 17:00
Platinum room 4

Dr Fungayi Chidothe, Senior Manager - Strategy and Planning
Industrialising talent management
Saturday 6 May, 07:30-08:30
Platinum room 4

Matthew Durdy, Chief Business Officer
Industrializing the CGT business model
Friday 5 May, 10:45-12:15
Platinum room 4

Dr Damian Marshall, Head of Analytical Development
Overcoming analytical challenges for characterization of advanced therapies
Saturday 6 May, 07:30-08-30
Platinum room 2

Dr Stephen Ward, Chief Operating Officer
Process and product approach to automation
Saturday 6 May, 15:30-16:30
Platinum room 4

If you are attending ISCT 2017 please visit the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult at booth location 707.