Cellular Origins and CGT Catapult partner to automate cell and gene therapy manufacturing

By Isabel Cameron

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images
© Getty Images

Related tags cell and gene technologies cell and gene therapy Manufacturing Automation

Cellular Origins and the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult (CGT Catapult) have announced a new collaboration to demonstrate universal automation of CGT manufacturing.

The partnership will undertake the physical and digital integration of existing bioprocessing equipment at the CGT Catapult’s Stevenage Manufacturing Innovation Center (MIC) using Cellular Origins’ robotic platform, Constellation.

By combining CGT Catapult’s expertise in GMP operations with Cellular Origins’ Constellation, the aim is to demonstrate the real-world benefits of automation and enhance understanding of its impact on overcoming scaling barriers.

Dr Edwin Stone, CEO at Cellular Origins, commented: “The CGT Catapult is a world-leading specialist in the field of cell and gene therapy, and we are delighted to announce this collaboration, enabling us to access their expertise and leverage the full potential of Constellation to revolutionise CGT manufacturing at scale.

“CGT Catapult’s experience in establishing GMP facilities and optimising cell therapy manufacture is directly aligned with Cellular Origins’ mission to prove the impact automated manufacturing can have in transforming cell therapy production.  Through this partnership, we will work to demonstrate an automated manufacturing approach that will provide a route for patients worldwide to access these life-saving therapies.”

2023 was a landmark year for the CGT industry, highlighting the growing need to scale manufacturing.

With seven therapies receiving FDA approval and more expected in 2024, regulatory recommendations for earlier CGT treatments will likely expand the patient base from thousands to tens or hundreds of thousands.

Despite rising demand, current manufacturing capabilities are insufficient, creating a gap between production and patient needs.

Matthew Durdy, chief executive at the CGT Catapult, added: “Embracing automation is a key step that the cell and gene therapy industry must take to reduce costs, increase efficiency and meet the growing demand for advanced therapies.”

“Through working with leading robotics and software experts such as Cellular Origins, we aim to develop new strategies that increase levels of automation. This will help our collaborators access the benefits of these technologies, help make advanced therapies more affordable to healthcare systems, and help more patients receive life changing therapies.”

According to Cellular Origins, Constellation's unique benefit is its universal automation, which seamlessly integrates a variety of existing bioprocessing equipment with minimal changes to both the biological process and the equipment.

In addition, Constellation’s use of automated tube welding allows it to adapt to the process, consumables, and equipment, rather than the other way round and without the need to add new components or connectors.

This enables therapy developers to scale their CGT therapy and treat greater patient numbers without the delays and risk of having to re-develop their manufacturing process.

The technology will be based at the CGT Catapult’s Stevenage MIC in its digital and automation testbeds, a newly developed pre-Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) space.

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