Trends & Challenges on This Growing Segment of Bioprocessing
| By Avantor
One of the most revolutionary trends driving the biopharmaceutical sector is cell and gene therapy.
In his interview Opportunities and Challenges in Cell and Gene Therapy Development, Ger Brophy, Executive Vice President of Biopharma Production at Avantor, shares his perspective on this growing segment of the bioprocessing industry, as well as several key trends and challenges.
A Game-Changer in the Study of Fighting Cancer
Brophy explains the reason why this is a real game-changer is that a patient is using their own immune system to fight cancers.
“CAR-T cell therapy is arguably amongst the most personalized medicine one can consider. The patient’s own T cells are extracted, modified, activated, expanded, purified, and returned to the patient. Among the first patients treated for acute lymphoblastic leukemia, several are alive and thriving – four, five, six years later.”
The Challenges – and the Solutions
While early movers in cell and gene therapy were small biotech startups, larger organizations are starting to get involved, which will leverage their increased breadth and depth to develop new labels, develop new trials, and find ways to manufacture these therapies at scale.
Brophy states that two critical challenges are scalability and manufacturability. “If we can manufacture these treatments at scale, then can we do it safely?” he asks. “Can we do so at a reasonable cost so the populations that are affected by these diseases can access treatments?”
He explained that variables and failure modes have to be taken out of the process, and that technologies like sterile fluid transfer need to be improved, excipient technology needs to be used to further stabilize these technologies, and analytics must be used to understand what will create successful therapies. “We can increase the efficacy, decrease the risk, and decrease the cost,” he said.
Read Brophy’s full interview addressing the opportunities and challenges in cell and gene therapy.
How Avantor Can Help Researchers
As trials for these therapies continue to grow, researchers who are developing cell therapies can rely on the competitively solicited E&I Avantor contract to source the products and services needed for cell and gene therapy.
About the Author
As the channel brand of Avantor®, VWR is the leading global provider of product and service solutions to laboratory and production customers in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, industrial, education, government, and healthcare industries.