Cell therapy developers need purpose-built process monitoring technologies, according to researchers who say better systems would accelerate manufacturing and reduce costs. The conclusion is based on a study that looked at the use of process analytical technology (PAT) in cell therapy manufacturing. The key finding was that the lack of bespoke systems means many developers continue to rely on platforms designed for large-molecule drug production.
This is a problem because cell therapies are much more complex than protein therapeutics, notes Krishnendu Roy, PhD, director, NSF Engineering Research Center (ERC) for Cell Manufacturing Technologies (CMaT) at Georgia Tech… Continue reading.
Researchers have received funding from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, to screen and evaluate certain molecules known as adjuvants that may improve the ability of coronavirus vaccines to stimulate the immune system and generate appropriate responses necessary to protect the general population against the virus.
“The adjuvants that we are studying, known as pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs), are molecules often found in viruses and bacteria, and can efficiently stimulate our immune system,” explained Krishnendu Roy, a professor and Robert A. Milton Chair in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University. “Most viruses have several of these molecules in them, and we are trying to mimic that multi-adjuvant structure… Continue reading.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded nearly $20 million to a consortium of universities to support a new engineering research center (ERC) that will work closely with industry and clinical partners to develop transformative tools and technologies for the consistent, scalable and low-cost production of high-quality living therapeutic cells. Such cells could be used in a broad range of life-saving medical therapies now emerging from research laboratories.
Led by the Georgia Institute of Technology, the NSF Engineering Research Center for Cell Manufacturing Technologies (CMaT) could help revolutionize the treatment of cancer, heart disease, autoimmune diseases and other disorders by enabling broad use of potentially curative therapies that utilize living cells – such as immune cells and stem cells – as “drugs.” Examples of these highly promising therapies include T cell-based immunotherapies for blood cancers, such as the one developed at the University of Pennsylvania and approved in August by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, and a gene-modified stem cell therapy recently approved in Europe for a form of the so-called “bubble boy” syndrome.
To facilitate the widespread application of these cutting-edge emerging treatments, CMaT will develop robust and scalable technologies, innovative analytical tools, and engineering systems that will enable industry and clinical facilities to reproducibly manufacture efficient, safe and affordable cell-therapy products. The center, one of four ERCs announced September 12 by the NSF, will also develop improved models for a robust supply chain, storage and distribution system for these therapeutic cell products… Continue reading.
Krishnendu Roy has been named the New Robert A. Milton Endowed Chair at the Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering & Bioscience at the Georgia Institute of Technology effective October 1, 2015.
For years scientists have been working to fundamentally understand how nanoparticles move throughout the human body. One big unanswered question is how the shape of nanoparticles affects their entry into cells. Now researchers have discovered that under typical culture conditions, mammalian cells prefer disc-shaped nanoparticles over those shaped like rods.
Understanding how the shape of nanoparticles affects their transport into cells could be a major boost for the field of nanomedicine by helping scientists to design better therapies for various diseases, such as improving the efficacy and reducing side effects of cancer drugs.
In addition to nanoparticle geometry, the researchers also discovered that different types of cells have different mechanisms to pull in nanoparticles of different sizes, which was previously unknown. The research team also used theoretical models to identify the physical parameters that cells use when taking in nanoparticles.
“This research identified some very novel yet fundamental aspects in which cells interact with the shape of nanoparticles,” said Krishnendu Roy, who recently joined the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University. Roy conducted this research at The University of Texas at Austin in collaboration with Profs. S. V. Sreenivasan and Li Shi, but is continuing the work at Georgia Tech.
University of Texas at Austin engineering professors George Georgiou and Krishnendu Roy are working on ways to treat cancer with drugs.
Georgiou is developing new proteins for treating liver cancer. Roy is engineering systems for delivering vaccines for lymphoma.
And they have received funding from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) that will support critical links in getting their research from their laboratories to patients.