From The Editor | July 31, 2023

Automation's Role In Cell Therapy Manufacturing


By Erin Harris, Editor-In-Chief, Cell & Gene
Follow Me On Twitter @ErinHarris_1

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The need for standardization and automation are critical drivers of innovation in cell therapy manufacturing. Implementation of an automated workflow minimizes open processes and manual touchpoints, increases reproducibility, and improves traceability. This has the potential to reduce manufacturing failures and lower the cost of goods sold, thereby facilitating increased patient access.

Earlier this month, during our Cell & Gene Live, Driving Down COGS: Automation's Role In Cell Therapy Manufacturing, I welcomed expert panelists, Narinder Singh, Chief Technical Officer at Arcellx and Craig Beasley, Chief Technical Officer at BlueRock Therapeutics, for a discussion on how to improve cost and scalability in cell therapy manufacturing via standardization and automation. Our conversation centered around how and why automation plugs holes and pushes cell therapy to new heights via process automation, digitization, etc.

During the 60-minute virtual event, now available on demand in its entirety, Beasley, Signh and I talked through the circumstances in which a partially automated process may be just as important as a fully automated process. Both Arcellx and BlueRock have robust pipelines that focus on various therapeutic areas, yet process automation looks different per therapeutic focus area. The panelists provided insight into their respective processes to highlight core differences as well as similarities and the benefits of each.

Note that automation may not be possible or even recommended for all steps in a process. Our panelists provided examples of times when automation isn’t the best solution and examples of what alternatives to automation may include and involve.

Our Next Cell & Gene Live

Be sure to watch this valuable Cell & Gene Live event. Our next Cell & Gene Live, Regulating the CGT Workflow To Improve Patient Safety, will be an absolute can’t-miss. Because as regulatory guidelines evolve, and the need to meet accelerated timelines increases, so too does the need for an efficient manufacturing workflow. Join me on August 22nd at 11 am EST as I welcome Vor Biopharma’s Robert Pietrusko and BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc.’s Mantej (Nimi) Chhina for a discussion on the latest regulatory developments impacting efficacy and patient safety issues. Registration is free. See you there!