Manufacturing partnerships support high quality cell therapies

By Andre Rickard, The Science Advisory Board contributing writer

May 3, 2022 -- Manufacturing is a critical part of the drug development and commercialization process that requires significant resources. This is especially true for the manufacturing of cutting-edge therapeutics that must be formulated under strict regulatory parameters, such as cell therapies.

As a result, companies often partner together to pool resources to make complex manufacturing processes more efficient. Chimeric Therapeutics, Ncardia, and Novartis are some of the companies that have decided to engage in such partnerships in order to bring novel therapies to the patients that need them as quickly as possible.

Chimeric Therapeutics-WuXi Advanced Therapies

Chimeric Therapeutics is a clinical stage cell therapy company that works to develop cell therapies treating various types of cancer, particularly solid tumors. The company's pipeline includes multiple chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) cell therapies, such as CAR T cells and CAR natural killer (NK) cells, treating cancers of many different organ systems throughout the body.

In support of the continued manufacturing and development of these cell therapies, Chimeric has entered into a manufacturing partnership with WuXi Advanced Therapies. Through this partnership, Chimeric will utilize WuXi's closed-loop CAR T platform to amplify the manufacturing of Chimeric's CHM 1101 and CHM 2101 CAR T-cell therapies.

These therapies will be developed as treatments targeting tumors associated with glioblastoma and gastrointestinal cancers. Chimeric plans to further expand these therapies to target neuroendocrine, colorectal, and pancreatic tumors. Financial details of this collaboration were not disclosed.

Ncardia-Cellistic

Ncardia is a company that focuses on developing stem cells for therapeutic use by other pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies through its unique expertise, operational efficiency, and cell-specific manufacturing platforms. Ncardia notably utilizes induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technologies to aid in the generation of innovative cell therapies.

To continue expanding on this specialized work, Ncardia has launched a new business called Cellistic to directly focus on cell therapy development and manufacturing. This new business will allow for the large-scale manufacturing of distinct allogenic cell therapies using Ncardia's strong foundational knowledge regarding the differentiation and expansion of iPSCs. The company will also emphasize the accessibility of various differentiation and bioreactor-based expansion protocols, alongside readily scalable current good manufacturing practice (cGMP) capabilities. Financial details were not disclosed.

Novartis-Carisma Therapeutics

Novartis is a multinational pharmaceutical company that develops extensive treatment options for a broad range of diseases. Among the company's many therapeutic developments, Novartis has a strong focus on CAR T-cell therapies, in addition to other cell therapies being actively investigated.

As part of the company's goal of continuing to develop these novel cell therapies, Novartis has partnered with Carisma Therapeutics to expand on the manufacturing of diverse cell therapies. Through this agreement, Carisma will transfer its manufacturing process to Novartis' Cell Therapy Site located in Morris Plains, NJ. This partnership will utilize Carisma's strength in developing CAR M-cell therapies using macrophages as treatments for solid tumors, particularly targeting human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2). Financial details of this partnership were not disclosed.

Cell therapies represent modern and rapidly developing treatment options for various diseases that are difficult to treat, such as cancer. Many of these therapies are paired with additional biological innovations to create stem cells or bioengineered immune cells with high therapeutic potential.

Considering the high complexity of manufacturing these therapies, it is essential for companies to invest in manufacturing. Companies like Chimeric Therapeutics, Ncardia, and Novartis have demonstrated this investment through a variety of collaborations and enterprises with other companies. As manufacturing capabilities continue to grow, cell therapies will also have the room to grow in a way that enables more robust and effective treatment options to be available for more and more patients.

To stay up to date on the latest business happenings in the cell and gene therapy industry, check out Cell & Gene Therapy Business Outlook today!

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