INNOVATE, TRANSLATE AND MANUFACTURE
The Immune Cell Manufacturing group is positioned upstream of BTI's spectrum of R&D activities. It aims to develop expertise in the engineering and manufacturing of cellular products for cancer immunotherapy by collaborating with groups specializing in downstream capabilities.
The group has two major research directions. The first is design optimization of the structure of chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) for expression in autologous T and natural killer (NK) cells, with potential extension to other immune cell types, to treat haematological and solid malignancies. Genetic modification of immune cells are achieved via viral and non-viral approaches. CAR T and NK cells thus generated are assessed for their on-tumor cytotoxic efficacy and off-target adverse effects using various in vitro characterization assays and in vivo mouse models of tumour.
The second is to devise novel methods of CAR transduction, develop media formulations and establish scalable technology processes that enable bulk, continuous manufacturing of allogeneic, off-the-shelf T and NK cells. These avenues of investigation aim to substantially reduce the cost of immune cell therapy products and increase their accessibility to patients. To enhance the manufacturing batch consistency and reliability of the cell therapy product, it is important to define carefully its critical quality attributes that facilitate batch release testing.