Joining us in this Cell Therapy Bioprocessing & Commercialization Podcast is Lee Buckler, Cell Therapy Group. Lee discusses the state of the industry and unique challenges that this event is helping tackle. Below is a brief excerpt from the podcast, follow the links below to access the complete podcast and transcript.
What are some of the unique challenges of cell therapy bioprocessing that this event is helping the industry to tackle?
Well, I think that one is just the cross flow of expertise that I mentioned before. So, one of the reasons why I think this Event has been so successful is because it is so closely associated with the bioprocessing journal, as well, in which we’ve really been trying to raise the level of publications related to cell therapy bioprocessing to try and encourage that cross flow of expertise and exchange of information between those in traditional biologics bioprocessing and those who are still cutting their teeth in cell therapy bioprocessing. So, the lack of that cross flow has been one of the challenges that we face. Bringing people in who have experience with larger-scale systems. Cell therapy is still being produced in relatively small scales. Even when we think it’s big scale, it’s still relatively small scale. So, bringing people with large-scale experience and thinking ahead about how these cell products are going to be manufactured on a large scale if we get great clinical efficacy is a tremendous asset.
Other than that the unique challenges differ significantly depending on whether you’re talking about autologous vs. allogeneic. One of the challenges with autologous is that it doesn’t really scale-up very well because a batch is a lot. So, there is a lot of cost of goods embedded in the human processing and in the testing. So, innovation with autologous cell therapies is around closing systems up. Potentially they don’t have to be inside playroom environments and/or in bringing lower cost batch testing solutions to cell therapy products.
When you’re looking at allogeneic, of course, depending on whether you’re looking at an adherent or non-adherent cell population, you’re really looking at how can you take the cell expansion process from key flasks or roller bottles or vats into tanks where we can do scale-up at a much larger scale and hopefully, potentially, reduce the media consumption because media consumption is the largest – as has been pointed out in past sessions of this conference – media consumption is the largest cost driver.
Some of the really important data that has been presented here and then also published in Bioprocessing International is some of these metrics around what is the exact cost of the processing technology that we are using today vs. what we are going to have to get to in the future.
Be sure to join us at Cell Therapy Bioprocessing & Commercialization in Alexandria, VA - September 30th to October 2nd, 2015. Register before 9/4 and save $300 with the code XB15188BLOG.
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