UK consortium looks to advance cell therapy manufacturing  

A new consortium has been launched in the UK to help drive innovation in the manufacturing of personalised cell therapies. 

The consortium was launched by the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult (CGT Catapult) and will be led by advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMP) developer Achilles Therapeutics. The consortium has been awarded £3.5 million in funding by Horizon Europe which will go towards the development of a smart bioprocessing manufacturing platform (bioreactor) for personalised cell therapies. 

The consortium has launched a project called SMARTER which aims to develop a first-in-class proof-of-concept “smart” bioprocessing manufacturing platform which can analyse key biomarkers in real-time and adjust aspects of the process accordingly. It’s hoped that this will enable the generation of drug product at a more consistent quality.   

CGT Catapult has been awarded £1 million to deliver the SMARTER project through the Horizon Europe Guarantee scheme. CGT Catapult will the use funding to lead on the development of Raman soft sensors and chemometric models for on-line process biomarker monitoring. These technologies will be developed using clinically relevant tumour neoantigen mechanistic models, which will be developed by Achilles and tech transferred into CGT Catapult. 

Other members of the consortium include Leibniz University Hannover as project coordinator, and the Fundacion para la Investigacion del Hospital Universitario la Fe de la Comunidad Valenciana (Valencia). These organisations will  identify critical process parameters and biomarker monitoring targets and develop 2D fluorescence spectroscopy sensors. 

CGT Catapult will then finally use Process Analytical Technologies (PAT) and the application of robotics and automation to bioprocessing systems to bring all this technology together and demonstrate a proof-of-concept device. 

Official comments  

Matthew Durdy, Chief Executive Officer, of the CGT Catapult, said: “At the heart of our vision for a thriving cell and gene therapy sector is our work to make the manufacture of ATMPs safer, more efficient and more consistent. This project will be a hugely important step forward in this area, helping to improve scalability and reduce costs. We look forward to seeing how we can capture the lessons from this project and ensure that, in the long term, developers, clinicians and patients can benefit.”

Edward Samuel, EVP, Technical Operations at Achilles Therapeutics, added: “We are thrilled to be part of this consortium to support the continued innovation of cell therapy manufacturing processes. As a pioneer in the field of personalised cell therapies, we are excited to lend our expertise to this project which we believe can deliver significant benefits for patients.”

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