Case Study

Chill Out: Harnessing New Freezing Technology To Help Deliver The Future Of Medicine

Source: GE Healthcare Life Sciences
Freeze lab

When Dr. Edward Scott started his career as a hematologist in the 1970s, he diagnosed blood cancers, such as leukemia and lymphoma, and treated them with traditional methods such as chemotherapy, transfusions and bone marrow transplants.

But as medical technologies evolved, he found himself leading a company that isolated and captured components of the blood called mononuclear (MNC) cells. MNCs, such as lymphocytes, monocytes and dendritic cells, are critical to the immune system – and an integral component in todays’ cutting-edge cell therapies.

Now president of Key Biologics, Dr. Scott supports customers with the cellular raw materials needed to develop the latest medical discoveries. Since 1999, the Memphis, Tennessee-based business has provided research and clinical-grade human cells and blood products to pharmaceutical, biotech, medical device and academic institutions around the world.

“The quality of the raw material determines the quality of the product that’s being returned to the patient,” Dr. Scott says. “How effectively your manufacturing process can process what’s coming in, select the targeted cells and expand them or modify them determines how effective the final therapy will be.”

Now Key Biologics has new technology that helps ensure the cellular raw materials it provides to researchers and manufacturers is of the highest quality. The company recently installed a cryogenic cooler from Asymptote (part of GE Healthcare Life Sciences), called the VIA Freeze Quad, which has revolutionized the freezing process to become a world leader in cryogenic processing of cell therapies. As part of its commitment to cell and gene therapy, GE Healthcare acquired Asymptote in 2017, which is now integrated into the broader start-to-finish technology portfolio.