Lonza entered into a series of collaborations that are intended to demonstrate the proprietary Cocoon® platform’s ability to manufacture novel cell therapies in a decentralized setting. These institutions will evaluate the Cocoon, an automated patient-scale cell therapy manufacturing platform, for its potential to produce a range of unique cell therapies. The flexibility to execute a wide variety of protocols within a single system is enabled through a single-use, highly customizable cassette and custom programming, according to Eytan Abraham, PhD, head of personalized medicine, Lonza Pharma & Biotech.
Process development along with other related activities will be collaboratively shared between each partner and Lonza’s research and development site in Shady Grove, MD. The shared goal is to exhibit the Platform’s capability to manufacture cellular immunotherapies comparable to those produced currently. At the same time, the platform aims to deliver significant benefits including increase process control, reductions in costs, manpower, time and space requirements as well as offering superior scalability, enabling treatment of larger patient populations, says a Lonza spokesperson.
The use of automated manufacturing systems will be a crucial element for academic-clinical centers seeking to succeed as a point-of-care manufacturing for patient-scale cell therapies, notes Abraham. Each collaborating partner will utilize the Cocoon to assess the system’s automation, flexibility, and scalability.