CGT to test scaffold tech for commercial-scale T-cell production

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

CGT to test Australian scaffolding tech for T-cell growth (iStock/Yali Shi)
CGT to test Australian scaffolding tech for T-cell growth (iStock/Yali Shi)

Related tags Gene therapy Cell therapy manufacturing

The UK Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult (CGT) will test a “scaffold” technology its Australian developers say could make T-cell production more efficient.

CGT – an organisation that works to foster development of the UK’s cell and gene therapy sector – will investigate ways of using the scaffold technology – which provides a 3D growth surface for T-cells – for commercial-scale production.

The idea is to make T-cell production more efficient and reliable according to CGT CEO Keith Thompson, who said: “The issue of scale in cell and gene therapies is one of the toughest challenges the industry faces.

We need to have the ability to grow cells reliably and cost effectively at scale in order to get these promising therapies to patients. This project is one of several where we are looking at adapting technologies to achieve that scale up​.”

Tech plans

The scaffold was developed by researchers as the Women’s and Children’s Hospital, the University of South Australia and Queensland University of Technology with CRC for Cell Therapy Manufacturing (CTM CRC), the Australian centre for translation of cell therapies.

The developers claim the technology is competitive with current T-cell stimulation and expansion approaches used at the laboratory scale.

Sherry Kothari, CEO, the CRC for Cell Therapy Manufacturing said: “This collaboration with CGT provides the perfect vehicle for evaluating the translation and scale up of promising technologies​.”

CGT is an Innovate UK funded organisation tasked with fostering UK cell and gene production. 

Part of this is through the development of technologies. In January​ for example it partnered with Synpromics to develop a low cost means of making viral vectors for gene therapy delivery  

Another of CGT’s roles is to provide firms with space to develop cell and gene therapy production processes​. The organisation is building a large-scale production facility in Stevenage​ to support commercial production.

A CGT spokeswoman told us "the scaffold technology is not currently used in conjunction with bioreactors, but the long term goal is to test the premis of utilising the two together​."

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