Joining us in this Cell Therapy Bioprocessing & Commercialization Podcast is Marty Giedlin, VP of Development at Sangamo BioSciences, Inc. Marty discusses key industry challenges, the evolution of the cell therapy field and where it is headed in the next five years, advancements in technology and much more. Below is a brief excerpt from the podcast, follow the links below to access the complete podcast and transcript.
What are the challenges that you’re experiencing in your industry?
Well, I guess it really depends on what kind of cell therapy you’re talking about. We at Sangamo are processing both autologous T-cells and autologous stem cells. We have the most experience in our T-cell program where we knock out the CCR-5 receptor for HIV in HIV-positive patients. So, the challenges are trying to find that patient population that’s most amenable to this type of therapy, both in viral load, how many years they’ve been in retroviral therapy and that sort of thing. And also finding out which of the CD4 cells – which sub-population – is most important in controlling HIV. So, those are some of the challenges that are facing us there.
With our stem cell program, we have a partnership with CIRM (California Institute for Regenerative Medicine) in California with the City of Hope where we are looking at using CD34 stem cells either from peripheral blood or from bone marrow. What sub-population of those cells are really those that have the capacity for self-renewal over time? Those are the cells that we really want to target to do our gene modification technology.
Then, there are culture conditions to minimize replication, retain stemness and maximizing engraftment with respect to CD34s. And then we’re looking at ways of mobilizing peripheral blood CD34s and how does that affect stemness with respect to CD34s? And then also looking at different ways of bone marrow harvest. So, are there better ways of getting maximal yield to make sure we get enough cells to give back to the patient?
So, for us in the adoptive cell therapy, those are some of the challenges that we’re looking at over the next three to five years.
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