Ori Biotech and CTMC team up on cell therapy delivery

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/fotostorm
© GettyImages/fotostorm

Related tags Ori Biotech cell and gene therapy MD Anderson Cancer Center

Ori Biotech (Ori) and the Cell Therapy Manufacturing Center (CTMC) have announced a collaborative partnership to develop industrial manufacturing processes for cell therapies.

Ori is focused on bringing automated manufacturing to the cell and gene therapy (CGT) industry, while the CTMC is a joint venture between National Resilience Inc and MD Anderson Cancer Center. 

The alliance is aimed at speeding up process development, clinical implementation, and commercialization of novel cell therapies.

It will leverage Ori’s technology platform with CTMC’s manufacturing capabilities and, in the first instance, will focus on a cell therapy invented by Dr Sattva Neelapu, professor of lymphoma/myeloma at MD Anderson.

“Ori and CTMC have specifically partnered with the goal of increasing patient access to potentially life-saving cell therapies. This partnership will have a considerable impact on the cell therapy field by implementing innovative, digitally enabled process discovery and automated manufacturing solutions,”​ said Jason C Foster, CEO, Ori Biotech. 

New hires, new facilities 

Last week we reported on how the CGT manufacturing tech innovator had expanded its global footprint and team, with it executing its strategic plan following the US$100m it raised in its Series B funding round earlier this year.

Ori has invested in high-level expertise, in personnel, having recruited across digital infrastructure, data analytics, software, manufacturing, and quality, and in facilities globally, with the goal of rapid transition into the launch of its CGT manufacturing platform.

The developer has boosted its senior leadership team with several new appointments, including three directors, to support further growth and push the commercialization of its platform, along with further expanding its Science Advisory Board (SAB), appointing CGT experts, Isabelle Rivière and Jason Bock.

It has also opened a new facility in Princeton, New Jersey, US and will be opening a new technology center, in Cambridge, UK.

Patient access

Commenting on those new recruits and SAB members, Foster told BioPharma-Reporter: “As recent data demonstrates, there is an urgent need for increased access to cell and gene therapies, with less than 2% of eligible patients globally gaining access to marketed cell therapies and 20% of those patients who are selected for treatment still die while waiting for their treatment to be manufactured. It is imperative that we address these access issues quickly and there is no time to waste.

"Our new team members add to our strengths across all domains including biology, engineering, data science, manufacturing, supply chain and commercial. Typically, it has taken 10+ years for manufacturing platforms like Ori’s to get to market, we hope to bring the first generation of our platform to market in early 2024, less than five years post our first round of funding in 2019.”

The CEO said the company’s Lightspeed Early Access Program (LEAP) is an important step toward commercial launch. “It is a very exciting time as we have several partners directly engaging with our beta platform and testing it with their protocols.”

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