A leading developer of cloud-based decentralized manufacturing for cell therapies has announced a partnership to test their technology platform’s readiness for market. The partnership, between Ori Biotech and the Cell Therapy Manufacturing Center (CTMC), will involve the first pilot of the beta version of Ori’s automated manufacturing platform.

“Our early-access program is vital to ensure our product is fit for purpose,” explains Jason C. Foster, CEO of Ori Biotech. “There has been technology in the industry that has met problems, so we’re trying not do that.”

The partnership with CTMC, a joint venture between biomanufacturing technology company Resilience and the MD Anderson Cancer Center, is part of a larger-scale pilot program planned by Ori.

The Lightspeed Early Access Program (LEAP) currently has three partners, including CTMC, and aims to eventually involve six organizations covering a variety of customer types—including a medical center and a contract manufacturer.

“We’re trying to get a distribution of customer types to understand the market,” says Foster. “We’ll be working with our partners to get feedback, not only assessing our hardware, but also our data and cloud services.”

Ori’s cloud-based automated manufacturing platform is designed to be purchased as pieces of equipment for academic research work—or as a mobile cleanroom space for scaled-up manufacturing.

They are currently working with CTMC on protocol design and training and aim to begin the hands-on pilot next year.

Ori will be trialing their technology at CTMC’s 60,000-square-foot site in Houston, TX. They say their initial focus will be on manufacturing a cell therapy invented by Sattva Neelapu, PhD, a professor of lymphoma-myeloma research at MD Anderson.

“We’re excited to get our technology into the hands of end users, including Dr. Neelapu, to get feedback and demonstrate its utility,” says Foster, who hopes to have a commercial version of their platform available in 2024.