Cell/Gene Therapies

The Future of AAV Gene Therapy Is Scalable

Ryan Cawood, chief scientific officer, WuXi Advanced Therapies. Cawood began by noting that WuXi Advanced Therapies supports clients throughout their journeys toward developing cell and gene therapies. With the acquisition of the UK-based contract research organization (CRO) Oxgene and its adenoassociated virus (AAV) and lentivirus platforms (known as the TESSA and LentiVEX platforms/technologies, respectively), WuXi Advanced Therapies now can scale processes up to good manufacturing practice (GMP) manufacturing through to commercial supply. After describing the work that takes place in…

Innovation as the Key to Gene Therapy Manufacturing

David Backer, chief commercial officer, Oxford Biomedica. Backer described the business models of Oxford Biomedica and Oxford Biomedica Solutions. The public company, OXB, licenses its technology. It historically has focused on lentiviruses but has moved into AAV. End-to-end capabilities are offered at both the Boston and Oxford sites. The company has grown rapidly because even though it specializes in lentivirus production, it was asked to increase its capabilities to manufacture an adenovirus-vectored COVID-19 vaccine for AstraZeneca as part of a…

Accelerating Industrialization of Genomic Medicine

Clive Glover, general manager, gene therapy, Pall Corporation. Glover observed that demand continues to grow for genomic medicines such as virally delivered gene therapies and RNA-based vaccines and treatments. With several such products approaching regulatory approval and many more in the clinical pipeline, manufacturing delays are inevitable. One strategy for reducing bottlenecks involves standardizing production processes for viral vectors and lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) that are used to deliver genomic therapies. Glover described the work of his company and other Danaher…

Roundtable Discussion — Recombinant Protein Manufacturing: Lessons to Be Taken from the Emerging Cell and Gene Therapy Space

Dan Stanton (cofounder and editor of the BioProcess Insider) opened the BPI Theater at BIO with the first panel discussion of the week. He noted that current news focuses on overcoming manufacturing issues that impede bringing cell and gene therapies to market and, crucially, producing them in the most cost-effective ways possible. By comparison, the first monoclonal antibody (MAb) product was launched in 1986, so after 35 years, much progress has been made in the traditional biologic space toward making…

Increasing the Efficacy and Impact of Cell and Gene Therapies

Decades of research into cell biology, gene editing, and biomanufacturing have culminated in the commercialization of more than a score of cell and gene therapy (CGT) products. In the United States, most of those are hematopoietic progenitor cells (HPCs) isolated from human umbilical cord blood. As of July 2022, the US Food and Drug Administration has approved five products based on chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells, all since 2017, and two viral-vector gene therapies, beginning with the 2019 authorization…

Taking a Distinctive Path Reflections on the History of Gene Therapy Development

For the past 20 years, I’ve been a committed and interested partner to developers of cell and gene therapies (CGTs). I’ve participated in the highs and lows of the industry. Initially, we looked to the development of monoclonal antibody (MAb) therapeutics for a roadmap to anticipate what would occur in the CGT field. It was thought that manufacturing processes would consolidate upon a single “winning” platform process and that both scale and productivity would be increased primarily by focusing on…

Transfection: Past, Present, and Future

The science behind transfection spans from calcium phosphate precipitation to newer methods that are easier to perform, more efficient, and consistent. Mirus Bio strives to perfect gene delivery to cells in culture and support different applications within the life sciences community. The company’s capabilities include RNA interference (RNAi), clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR), and viral vector development for cell and gene therapies with the launch of TransIT-VirusGEN GMP transfection reagent and kits for supporting clinical and commercial adenoassociated…

Small Samples, Big Discoveries: Characterizing AAV Aggregates at Low Volumes and Identifying Their Root Causes

Gene therapies that use AAVs have shown great promise, but can be unstable due to their fragile composite DNA/protein nature, which presents an analytical challenge when determining root cause of subvisible particle (SVP) formation and product instability. Understanding how these proteins interact with leaked payloads will allow better insight into avoiding aggregate buildup. Yet, this has been difficult, hampered by legacy systems that cannot conduct low volume SVP analysis or interrogate for DNA content. That’s about to change. In one…

eBook: Factors Affecting Scalability of Cell Therapies

The number of cell and gene therapies in different phases of development is increasing. The industry currently needs to increase commercial good manufacturing practice (GMP) capacity to keep up with current and future demands. Cell and gene therapy scale-up from clinical to commercial capacity levels can reduce cost of goods and thus price per dose.  An optimized bioprocess facilitates scale-up from hundreds (clinical scale) to thousands of doses (commercial scale). Different approaches for increasing scale can be taken. For example,…

Facing a Unique Challenge: Building an In-House Cell and Gene Therapy Manufacturing Facility During the Pandemic

In 2019, Expression Therapeutics (ET) obtained investigational new drug (IND) approval for its lead clinical product. The third-generation lentiviral vector (LV) expresses a bioengineered coagulation factor VIII to be used in an autologous hematopoietic stem- and progenitor-cell gene therapy for patients with severe hemophilia A. Like many other emerging biotechnology companies, ET’s initial strategy used reputable contract development and manufacturing organizations (CDMOs) for vector and cell manufacturing needs and a prominent clinical contract research organization (CRO) with extensive experience in…