Officials at Thermo Fisher Scientific and the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) say a newly opened cGMP manufacturing facility adjacent to UCSF Medical Center’s Mission Bay campus will accelerate advanced cell therapies for difficult to treat conditions, including cancer, rare diseases, and other illnesses.

The partnership between Thermo Fisher and UCSF, first announced in 2021, has the potential to demonstrate that having scientists, clinicians, and patients closer to a manufacturing site may expedite the development of breakthrough treatments, notes Michel Lagarde, executive vp and COO of Thermo Fisher. UCSF’s initial focus at the facility will be on treatments for glioblastoma, multiple myeloma, and other cancers using updated approaches to CAR-T and CRISPR technologies. Therapies for other difficult to treat conditions are expected to follow.

“Cell therapies represent a rapidly emerging field of biotechnology with tremendous promise for future therapeutic applications,” says Lagarde. “With a record number of cell therapy approvals granted in the last two years, and CAR-T therapies becoming earlier treatment options, we’re in a golden age of biology, where new technologies and partnerships are evolving and transforming clinical care.”

The San Francisco facility is part of Thermo Fisher’s global pharma services network of more than 15 locations supporting cell and gene therapies. In this facility, Thermo Fisher offers UCSF, and other customers, process and analytical development capabilities, as well as clinical and commercial manufacturing services, for advanced therapies derived from either a patient’s cells or from a donor source.

“UCSF is one of the top clinical sites for CAR-T treatment, and our scientists are leading the next-generation of CAR-T therapy development,” said UCSF Chancellor Sam Hawgood, MBBS. “These approaches will be tested soon in patients with solid tumors like glioblastoma and later in other diseases, including autoimmunity.”

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