09 Mar 2020

Lonza Collaborates with Immunotherapy Leaders to Assess Point-of-Care Manufacturing for Cancer Cell Therapies

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  • Research collaboration with leading research institutes and academic clinical centers Stanford University School of Medicine, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy on pioneering autologous cell therapy research and process development projects
  • Lonza will collaborate with each partner to tech transfer several of their respective cell therapy manufacturing processes into the automated Cocoon® Platform and exhibit the technology’s ability to manufacture in a decentralized model
  • Acknowledging the crucial role research institutes and academic clinical centers fill in developing next-generation cell therapies, including early-phase clinical cell therapy manufacturing, these partnerships aim to streamline development timelines, advancing therapies to the clinic faster, and make treatment available to more patients

Quote from Eytan Abraham, Head of Personalized Medicine, Lonza Pharma & Biotech:

“We are extremely motivated to be working hand-in-hand with these premier institutes, among the leaders in cell-based immunotherapy discovery and development, to exhibit the use of the closed, automated Cocoon® Platform for manufacturing cell therapies. We believe that using the Cocoon® Platform for decentralized cell therapy manufacturing at clinical centers, in addition to centralized locations, will convey significant benefits in costs, scalability, and lead time to deliver novel cell therapies to those patients most in need.”

Basel, Switzerland, 9 March 2020 – Lonza announced a series of collaborations to exhibit the proprietary Cocoon® Platform’s ability to manufacture novel cell therapies in a decentralized setting. The collaborations include tech transferring cell therapy manufacturing processes developed independently at the Stanford University School of Medicine, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy into the Cocoon platform. These leading institutions will evaluate the Cocoon® Platform’s potential to manufacture a range of unique cell therapies.

The Cocoon® Platform is an automated patient-scale cell therapy manufacturing platform. The flexibility to execute a wide variety of protocols within a single system is enabled through a single-use, highly customizable cassette and custom programming. 

Process development along with other related activities will be collaboratively shared between each partner and Lonza’s research and development site in Shady Grove (MD), USA. The overarching shared goal is to exhibit the Cocoon® Platform’s capability to manufacture cellular immunotherapies comparable to those produced currently. At the same time, the platform aims to deliver significant benefits including increase process control, reductions in costs, manpower, time and space requirements as well as offering superior scalability, enabling treatment of larger patient populations.

The use of automated manufacturing systems will be a crucial element for academic-clinical centers seeking to succeed as a Point-of-Care manufacturing for patient-scale cell therapies. Each collaborating partner will utilize the Cocoon® Platform to assess the system’s automation, flexibility, and scalability.