Joint venture promises to reduce manufacturing cost of cell and gene

Three organizations have created ScaleReady to provide a ‘cost-effective’ cell and gene production platform.

The joint venture combines the capabilities of Bio-Techne, Fresenius Kabi, and Wilson Wolf, which each take an equal share in the newly created business.

ScaleReady will offer technologies for cell culture, cell activation, gene editing and cell processing developed separately by these companies. The joint venture business itself will provide the sales, marketing, and application support for the cell and gene therapy manufacturing platform created by the partners.

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The target of the joint venture will be to assist companies looking to scale up to clinical and commercial settings. The formation of the company has been a year in the making, after being announced this time last year, after seeing rising demand for cell and gene therapies looking to transition from the lab into later stages of development.

When asked why the partners have come together to provide the service, a spokesperson for the joint venture explained: “By joining forces, we’ve brought together the most simple, scalable, and versatile manufacturing platform in the industry and are positioned to accelerate R&D collaboration to bring new products and technologies to market in the future.”

Each partner will provide a different element of the platform: Bio-Techne will supply the proteins, reagents, media, and gene editing technologies; Fresenius Kabi contributes its cell processing systems; and Wilson Wolf will add its G-Rex cell culture technology.

Together, the partners suggest that the manufacturing platform can ‘cost-effectively’ produce cell and gene therapies.

G-Rex

ScaleReady’s spokesperson said the reason why this platform can be considered more affordable hinges upon the G-Rex platform.

“For years the industry has relied on conventional wisdom that limits media height for static cell culture,” they said, which “forfeits scalability for automation and lacks practicality when producing for larger patient populations.”

In regard to G-Rex, the production platform works by “letting cells obtain the exact amount of nutrients and oxygen they need without complex instrumentation and monitoring.” As a result, ScaleReady’s offering would allow for reduced cleanroom space, manufacturing flexibility and speed to clinic, the spokesperson suggested.

Bio-Techne will contribute to the partnership from its newly refitted, large-scale reagent facility, located in Minnesota and announced in 2019, with demand for cell and gene therapies being the driving factor behind the $50 million (€41m) investment.

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