What cell and gene therapy trends will we all be talking about in 2020?05 Feb 2020
Albumedix have, in one way or another, been part of the advanced therapy space for as long as we have existed; with albumin being a fundamental part of the toolbox for cell and gene therapy developers. Attending the Phacilitate conference in Miami last month confirmed how far our industry has moved over the past years, the challenges it will face moving forwards and most importantly, the opportunities it will afford patients worldwide.
The main takeaway from our Chief Technology Officer, Phil Morton; Chief Operating Officer, Jonas Skjødt Møller and Business Development Director, Gary Willingham was the incredible life-changing therapies and patient stories being told at the conference!
Ensuring advanced therapies reach patients, with all that entails, was discussed heavily at Phacilitate, including the complex issues concerning supply chain management and logistics. Other important discussion points touched on the future of allogenic therapies and addressing larger patient populations, the quality of raw-materials, including the starting cell material, and the approach taken by regulatory authorities to these new therapies.
So many of these discussions could be highlighted; however, a topic which was central to the practical realization of these therapies was the need for logistical optimization. In other words, getting therapies to patients 'just in time'. Trends presented by World Courier pin-pointed some interesting considerations involving a growth in cryopreserved product and the number of clinical sites shipping/receiving these products exploding to more than 3,000 in 2019, a number that has doubled since 2016.
With over a thousand clinical trials underway, along with the incredible market trends being reported at conferences such as Phacilitate and by organizations such as Alliance for Regenerative Medicine, we look forward to what the rest of our 2020 conference participation will bring.
Thoughts from our Chief Technology Officer...
An interesting direction of the industry, showcased in various presentations, was the move away from transient expression to stable cell lines in the production of viral vectors. Transient strategies are increasingly considered to not be viable production methods for the large-scale clinical grade vectors coming up in development, instead methods focusing on stable cell lines that give the opportunity to increase titre, and more importantly, improve reproducibility of vector batches are taking a focus to ensure safety and quality of the higher prevalent therapies being developed. This was an especially interesting topic of discussion in my point of view, as reproducibility and consistency is a major contributing factor of our recombinant human albumin's.