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GE says techs made at Cardiff lab will lower cell therapy development costs

By Gareth Macdonald , 05-Dec-2012
Last updated on 06-Dec-2012 at 09:08 GMT

Kieran Murphy, CEO GE Healthcare Life Sciences and Carwyn Jones, First Minister of Wales at the opening ceremony for new £3m lab.
Kieran Murphy, CEO GE Healthcare Life Sciences and Carwyn Jones, First Minister of Wales at the opening ceremony for new £3m lab.

GE Healthcare says new cell science lab in Wales will save drugmakers time and money and create more accurate alternatives to animal-based drug toxicity testing models.

The new £3m (€3.6m) complex – at GE Healthcare’s Maynard Centre in the Welsh capital Cardiff – houses bioprocessing, imaging technologies and manufacturing capacity and will employ a staff of 43 scientists.

Activities will focus on the development of novel technologies for cell therapies and on cellular based tools to help pharmaceutical companies develop better and safer medicines at lower cost according to GE spokeswoman Val Jones who told Outsourcing-pharma.com about the new lab.

The technologies that we are working on include technologies for multiplying cells. An example of this is our WAVE technology for growing cells and others used to process umbilical cord blood for cord blood banking. 

The Cardiff lab is also working in collaboration with a number of partners to help make cell therapy a reality,” Jones continued, adding that “Pharmaceutical companies are already expressing interest in the cell therapy arena. GE’s role is to develop the technologies that will help make cell therapy a reality on a wider scale.”

Preclinical potential

GE also plans to use the cell development capabilities available at the facility to create new based methods of determining the toxicity of candidate drug products, which the firm believes it can market to the pharmaceutical industry.

Jones said: “GE Healthcare’s Cytiva cardiomyocytes offer enormous potential as a more reliable model for studying cardiac toxicity than current animal models.

This is clearly of great interest to pharma. Our aim here is to provide tools and technologies that will help pharmaceutical companies develop safer and more effective drugs at lower cost.

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