Thermo Fisher Scientific opens cell therapy facility at University of California, San Francisco

By Leo O'Connor, Editor in Chief

March 27, 2023 -- Thermo Fisher Scientific and the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) said Monday that they will develop cell therapies for difficult-to-treat conditions, including cancers, rare diseases, and other illnesses.

The work will commence at a newly opened cGMP manufacturing facility adjacent to UCSF Medical Center's Mission Bay campus.

The partners said they aim to demonstrate that having scientists, clinicians, and patients closer to a manufacturing site may expedite the development of breakthrough treatments.

UCSF's initial focus will be on treatments for glioblastoma, multiple myeloma, and other cancers, using updated approaches to CAR-T and CRISPR technologies. Therapies for other difficult-to-treat conditions will follow.

The San Francisco facility is part of Thermo Fisher's global pharma services network of more than 15 locations supporting cell and gene therapies.

In the facility, Thermo Fisher offers process and analytical development capabilities and clinical and commercial manufacturing services for advanced therapies derived from a patient's cells or a donor source.

Thermo Fisher also offers drug development capabilities, including discovery, clinical research, and commercialization.

"Cell therapies represent a rapidly emerging field of biotechnology with tremendous promise for future therapeutic applications," Michel Lagarde, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Thermo Fisher, said in a statement. "With a record number of cell therapy approvals granted in the last two years, and CAR-T therapies becoming earlier treatment options, we're in a golden age of biology, where new technologies and partnerships are evolving and transforming clinical care."

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