04 Apr 2022
Lonza Expands the Functionality of Cocoon Platform by Implementing Magnetic Cell Selection
  • Lonza has expanded the Cocoon® Platform functionality by releasing the second-generation instrument, including new integrated capabilities in cell binding, cell separation, and bead removal
  • The Magnetic Selection capability, which can be utilized at any point in the cell therapy manufacturing process, provides a high level of customization and consistency and expands the end-to-end solution for cell therapy manufacturing
  • This innovative new functionality will further strengthen the Cocoon® Platform’s leading role in the commercialization of cell therapies, helping to advance discoveries into the clinic where they can benefit patients

Basel, Switzerland, 04 April 2022 – Lonza, a leading global cell and gene therapy manufacturer, announced a functionality expansion of its Cocoon® Platform for automated cell therapy manufacturing. The new Magnetic Selection adds capabilities in cell binding, cell separation, and bead removal (if required), all implemented within the Cocoon® cassette. The capability is being launched in April 2022 and is available in our new Magnetic Selection cassettes.

The consistency and quality of cell therapy products represent significant manufacturing challenges, mainly due to product complexity and patient-specific variability. In addition, the quality of fresh and frozen starting material influences the end-product. Due to variability in starting material, selecting and separating the appropriate target cell population is crucial to delivering consistent autologous cell therapy products.

Magnetic cell separation is an established technique allowing for the selection of specific cell types from cell suspensions and complex matrices. This technique involves targeting cells for selection using monoclonal antibody-conjugated magnetic beads. Upon labeling, bound cells can be retained in an electromagnetic field and separated from untargeted cells.

Tamara Laskowski, Head of Clinical Development, Personalized Medicine, Lonza, commented: “As most currently-available solutions rely on manual or semi-manual processes, automating cell selection and separation increases overall process efficiency, minimizes user input variability and allows for easier scale-up. Lonza’s new Magnetic Selection capability implemented within the Cocoon® cassette helps to address the challenge of high variability in the cellular starting material received from patients or donors.”

The new Magnetic Selection capability is implemented directly into the cassette and only requires the use of magnetic beads and antibodies to target the desired purification strategy. The Magnetic Selection capability adapts for positive and negative selection and enables sequential magnetic separation at any point in the process. This solution offers flexibility in reagent choice, purification strategy, workflow and unlocks further options for customization.       

Adam Bryan, Head of Personalized Medicine, Lonza, added: “Lonza’s Cocoon® Platform was developed to address challenges in cell therapy manufacturing as a functionally closed, automated, and scalable solution for personalized therapy manufacturing. The newly-added Magnetic Selection capability delivers more value for users and represents Lonza’s commitment to continued investment in next-generation manufacturing technologies.”

The addition of the Magnetic Selection capability reflects Lonza’s continued focus on enhancing the Cocoon® Platform’s performance and functionality. With the integration of Magnetic Selection, the Cocoon® Platform represents the only functionally closed and automated manufacturing platform supporting the use of various magnetic bead types.

For more information on the Cocoon® Platform, visit https://pharma.lonza.com/technologies-products/cocoon-platform.