Commercial-Scale Cell Therapy Manufacturing Partnership Announced

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The new partnership between NeoStem and Invetech focuses on the development of a closed processing system for cell-based therapy manufacturing.

Biopharmaceutical company NeoStem, Inc. and automation company Invetech announced on Jan. 12, 2015 that they are partnering to develop a closed-processing system for cell therapy manufacturing. Invetech will provide services related to system design and engineering development, while NeoStem will perform separation techniques and other “closed-cell processing manipulations,” according to a press release.

The new technology will help grow the cell therapy industry and will support new product development and commercialization, noted Brian Hampson, vice-president, manufacturing and engineering at Progenitor Cell Therapy (PCT), a company that is a wholly-owned subsidiary of NeoStem and will carry out the work. “NeoStem’s Engineering and Innovation Center (EIC) is one of the first dedicated centers responding directly to the major challenges that are facing the manufacturers of cell-based therapeutics,” he said in a press release. “If ultimately commercialized, the sale of disposables associated with the system, especially for patient-specific therapies where one disposable set is used per patient, could potentially become a meaningful revenue area for NeoStem.”


The co-developed system from Invetech and NeoStem will be used to manufacture autologous, patient-specific products in a small-scale process suitable for GMP manufacturing. In light of recent developments in immune-oncology with chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapies, creating new technology to support cell therapy manufacturing could be a promising business venture. Companies such as Janssen, Novartis, Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, and Celgene have all recently entered into partnerships to engineer T cells for immunotherapies.