Cryopreservation

Cryopreserved Leukapheresis Materials Help Alleviate Donor Sourcing Issues

Reliable access to high-quality starting material is a primary challenge in cell therapy manufacturing. Freshly isolated leukopak starting materials depend on donor availability and are vulnerable to cell losses from scheduling changes and other unforeseen circumstances. Flexibility often is required for cell therapy manufacturing. Therefore, relying solely on freshly isolated starting material is impractical, particularly when cell therapy logistics involve global shipping and distribution. Donor sourcing is among the most critical factors shaping cell and gene therapy (CGT) supply chains.…

Ask the Expert: Key Considerations for Cryogenic Preservation and T-Cell Viability

Cryopreservation provides critical protection for cell therapies by minimizing genetic changes. But cooling too slowly or quickly risks diminishing cell viability upon thaw. On 11 March 2020, Peter Kilbride (senior research scientist) and Julie Meneghel (cryobiologist), both of Cytiva (formerly GE Healthcare Life Sciences), discussed the importance of controlled-rate cryopreservation. Illustrating how mammalian cells change when frozen, Kilbride and Meneghel offered concrete cryopreservation strategies and identified temperatures at which it is safe to stop controlled cooling and transfer drug product…

Cell Banking for Cell and Gene Therapy: Regulatory, Ethical, and Scientific Considerations

Regenerative medicine holds great potential for human disease management, with hundreds of cell and gene therapy (CGT) products for tissue/organ reconstitution or replacement in different stages of development and clinical testing for toxicity, safety, and efficacy. For example, currently more than 60 CGTs have marketing authorization (although many with only conditional approval) from central regulatory agencies worldwide (1). Those products are treating conditions such as hematopoietic malignancies, immunological disorders, and cartilage disorders. Most of those treatments use culture-expanded autologous or…

The Critical Role of Media in Intensified Upstream Processes

As the need for novel therapeutics increases, so does pressure on the biopharmaceutical industry to improve productivity, accelerate development, increase, and reduce costs — all while ensuring drug product quality. Upstream intensification strategies such as perfusion culture can address those challenges and achieve higher protein titers that can translate into higher throughput, improved flexibility, and compressed timelines. Successful implementation of perfusion culture or the transition to perfusion from fed-batch culture requires a different and strategic approach to media selection, not…

Development of Large-Scale Bulk Freezing Systems

The biopharmaceutical industry is under pressure to generate value for shareholders and find innovative therapies while driving down development and manufacturing costs. As the industry considers more flexible and scalable production solutions for patients, new therapies will continue to be developed faster than ever before. These products will need to rely on robust and reliable manufacturing solutions. To deliver on that challenge, streamlining manufacturing processes will be necessary so that many lots of drug substances can be manufactured, stored, and/or…

A Novel 3D Culture System for High-Throughput Hepatoxicity Screening

Cells grown as three-dimensional (3D) spheroids are thought to more closely mimic in vivo physiology in terms of morphology, structural complexity, and phenotype. Being more physiologically relevant, 3D cultures can be highly predictive for compound profiling and evaluating cytotoxicity, a critical step in evaluating chemotherapeutic drug candidates. Unfortunately, evaluation of drug cytotoxicity traditionally has relied on the use of two-dimensional (2D) cell culture monolayers. When grown in monolayers, cells are not exposed to soluble gradients, are forced into an apical-basal…

The Effect of Albumin on Viability in Stem Cell Therapy

Stem cell therapies are some of the most cutting-edge and sophisticated therapeutic developments. They offer an attractive alternative approach to more widely used treatments for conditions such as multiple sclerosis, metabolic diseases, cardiovascular disease, liver disease, and cancer. But developers still face challenges, some of which can be addressed by the use of recombinant human albumin. As a long-established ingredient of cell culture media, albumin is well recognized for its ability to facilitate growth of many cell types. The industry is expanding its use of high-quality, fully recombinant, current good manufacturing practice…

Optimizing Cryopreservation for Therapeutic Cells

    Biopreservation suppresses degradation and enables postpreservation recovery of structure, viability, and function. Although there are several biopreservation techniques (indicated in “Biopreservation Methods” box), most laboratories use either standard cryopreservation protocols (the far majority) or vitrification (much more limited in broad systems application) when freezing cells for research and clinical applications. Isopropanol freezing containers such as the Mr. Frosty device from Nalgene Labware have made cryopreservation easier in many applications, and controlled-rate freezers allow users to program and manipulate…