Under the agreement, Thermo Fisher will build and operate a 44,000-square-foot, cell therapy development, manufacturing and collaboration center in leased space on UCSF's Mission Bay campus, which includes biomedical research facilities and hospitals.
The site will offer clinical and commercial cGMP cell therapy manufacturing services, along with associated technology development support, to UCSF and other partners.
Expected to open in 2022, the facility will also serve as a central location where customers and UCSF researchers will have access to Thermo Fisher's broad portfolio of Cell Therapy Systems (CTS) reagents, consumables, and fit-for-purpose instrumentation and compliant software.
In terms of how the partnership will speed up the adoption of cell therapies, a spokesperson for Thermo Fisher told BioPharma-Reporter:
“Cell therapy approaches have demonstrated positive results in a growing number of cancer patients, yet the ability to optimally manufacture cell therapies efficiently and at scale has hindered broader adoption. In collaboration with UCSF, Thermo Fisher will define performance and quality standards, standardize and automate workflows, decrease process variability, and innovate flexible, closed bench-to-clinic solutions for cell therapy applications.”
Improving patient access
By establishing cell therapy manufacturing close to the patient, UCSF is able to bring full cycle, clinical translational therapies for patients in need, she added.
“This combination will provide customers – from emerging biotechs to large pharma companies – with integrated, end-to-end solutions to reduce costs and accelerate adoption of cell therapies, ultimately improving patient access to these transformative treatments.”
Sam Hawgood, chancellor of UCSF, said breakthrough treatments using cell therapies are anticipated for many different diseases and conditions. “Establishing cell therapy manufacturing in such close proximity to our scientists, clinicians and patients will enable UCSF to catalyze innovation in living therapeutics and use the resulting discoveries to benefit our patients."