Cell therapy vendors: News from Miltenyi and Saint-Gobain

Bellicum Pharmaceuticals has inked a supply agreement with Miltenyi Biotec; Hitachi Chemical has teamed with Saint-Gobain to address manufacturing challenges – welcome to Bioprocess Insider’s cell therapy services round-up.

In an SEC filing, Houston, Texas-based cellular immunotherapy firm Bellicum Pharmaceuticals revealed it has entered a agreement with Miltenyi Biotec GmbH for the supply of “certain products in connection with the development and manufacture of certain of the Company’s products.”

The firm will pay Miltenyi a €2 million ($2.3 million) upfront payment in two installments, with the services firm set to receive a further €500,000 in regulatory milestone payments. The ten-year agreement also stipulates Bellicum to make minimum annual purchases from Miltenyi.

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Bellicum’s pipeline is led by Rivo-cel (BPX-501), an allogeneic polyclonal T-cell candidate in early-stage development for pediatric leukemias, lymphomas, and inherited blood disorders.

Bellicum did not tell this publication specifics as to the technology being employed and the specific products it will be used on. However, Miltenyi is a tech firm focused on cell and gene therapy development and has a range of technologies including the CliniMacs Prodigy, a self-enclosed system that can automatically manufacture cells after the addition of the leukapheresis product.

HCATS and Saint-Gobain

In other news, cell therapy contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Hitachi Chemical Advanced Therapeutics Solutions (HCATS) has teamed up with single-use vendor Saint-Gobain to develop and commercialize new technologies in the cell therapy space.

Details are thin, but the collaboration will “allow both parties to leverage their decades of experience and unique capabilities to address manufacturing needs of cell therapy product developers and challenges such as CAR-T genetic modification and culture and closed in-process product sampling,” the firms said in a release.

Since its entry into the regenerative medicine space in 2017 through the $US75 million (€64 million) acquisition of PCT Cell Therapy Services, HCATS has expanded its technology offering through various partnerships.

In June last year, the CDMO partnered with Invetech to access Invetech’s Counter-Flow Centrifugation (CFC) system for the clinical and commercial manufacture of cell-based therapies using closed single-use disposables.

“With hundreds of cell therapy clinical trials underway and being planned, the industry continues to be faced with challenges to properly prepare for sustainable commercialization of these promising therapies,” Robert Preti, HCATS CEO, said in a statement. “We are excited to partner with Saint-Gobain and look forward to supporting this growing industry by addressing our customers’ unique manufacturing challenges.”

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