Cytiva and Multiply Labs, a company developing robotic systems for pharmaceutical manufacturing, are collaborating on a robotic system to automate the manual portions of the cell therapy manufacturing workflow. Creating an automated system at industrial scale is hoped to enable the speed and flexibility needed to manufacture these therapeutics.
With cell therapies being approved by regulatory bodies in the United States, the European Union, Canada, Japan and Australia, and hundreds more in clinical development globally according to the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine Annual Report 2020, there is a need to industrialise the workflow. Combining Cytiva’s industry knowledge and technology with Multiply Labs’ automation and robotics experience, the companies will develop a proof-of-concept robotic system with the aim of accelerating the manufacture of cell therapies on an industrial scale.
Catarina Flyborg, VP, Cytiva, says: “Cell therapies have the potential to transform global healthcare, but their true potential will not be realised until the manufacturing workflow is fully automated. Our collaboration with Multiply Labs will enable us to develop a system that will advance and accelerate the commercial manufacturing of these novel therapeutics to help get them to the patients who need them most.”
Multiply Labs’ technical approach is based on what it calls a robotic cluster, a cloud-controlled manufacturing system comprising multiple modules organised around a shared transfer system. The company claims this approach enables greater output, increased safety, more reproducibility, greater flexibility and easier GMP qualification for drug developers. It has already deployed an automated robotic cluster for the manufacture of personalised therapies made with combinations of small molecules.
Fred Parietti, co-founder and CEO, Multiply Labs, said: “Advanced robotics has been successfully applied to numerous high-value, high-scale manufacturing processes, from automotives to semiconductors. Combining Cytiva’s process expertise and market-leading technology with our robotics hardware and software expertise has the potential to radically accelerate the development and adoption of these life-saving drugs.”
There were 440 ongoing cell-based and cell therapy clinical trials worldwide in 2020 creating an immediate need to develop an industrialised manufacturing system that can support potential regulatory approvals and the commercialisation of these novel therapeutics.