That's the contention of Akadeum Life Sciences CEO Brandon McNaughton, PhD, whose start-up biotech company claims to have created a more cost-effective, gentle, efficient, and simple cell separation method for the life sciences research, diagnostics, and cell therapy markets.
"A lot of the existing technologies that have been around here for about 40 years or so haven't dramatically changed. They're really good at, call it, smaller volumes or a couple samples, but where we're going with cell therapies and other applications is larger volumes," McNaughton told ScienceBoard.net. "We like to think there's no simpler way of doing it [than microbubbles] and that this is really the best way of separating and is also scalable to those different volumes."
Akadeum's microbubble technology also has an environmental benefit by eliminating the need to use traditional separation methods such as rare earth magnets that result in the life sciences industry producing thousands of pounds of toxic waste, according to McNaughton.
The CEO also noted that because his company's technology doesn't use strong magnetic forces in the separation process the cells are treated more gently by the microbubbles. McNaughton made the case that this is an important distinction when it comes to chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy in which exhaustion impairs in vivo persistence and the killing activity of CAR T cells.
"If you're doing all this engineering to a cell outside of the body, you have to be careful because you can exhaust the cells," McNaughton said. "We've seen where our process is more gentle [than magnets] and can alleviate some of those pressing issues in cell therapy."
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