Cell therapies - as the name suggests - are treatments in which cells are implanted into a patient to replace damaged tissue or treat disease.
The cells are first extracted from a healthy donor or the patient themselves, multiplied to the point where they will have a therapeutic effect and finally reimplanted into the patient.
The new W25 system - which belongs to GE's Xuri range - is used at the cell mulitplication stage and is particularly suited to the development of T-cell based therapies according to Phil Vanek, general manager of cell bioprocessing at the firm's life sciences unit.
"The Xuri W25 is an automated cell expansion system for the growth of such cells, which is equipped with dedicated software applications to make it suitable for a regulated manufacturing environment and which has been specifically validated for the growth of T-cells, a type of human white blood cell commonly used in cell therapy.
Vanek also told Biopharma-reporter.com that: "To industrialise the cell therapy process it will need to be ‘scaled-out,' allowing clinicians to run many Xuri W25’s in parallel, each containing a different population of donor cells, in a safe, automated, reliable and efficient manner."
At present there are upwards of 2,500 clinical trials of cell therapies underway worldwide, according to publically accesible databases like clinicaltrials.gov, which has created a significant market opportunity of which GE is keen to capture a commanding share.
Vanek said that: "Many research groups are now looking to move from small-scale expansion of cells to a cost-effective, industrialized process.
"The new Xuri technology family, in which the W25 is our first product, combines our capabilities in cellular science with the our expertise in the development of advanced tools for the manufacture of biopharmaceuticals."
GE will sell the new system for between $40K and $70K (Eur53k to Eur94k) depending on how it is configured.