Product News: Lonza announces broad selection of high-resolution HLA-typed primary cell lots to support biologic drug research

The new lots further enhance Lonza’s renowned human primary cell offerings as it looks to meet growing market demand for deeper cell characterization

19 Nov 2020


Quote from Aurita Menezes, Global Product Manager, Lonza Bioscience: “A person’s HLA type is a piece of critical information needed for biologic drug safety research. We are now seeing a surge in demand for HLA-typed primary cells as researchers look to build ever-more predictive preclinical models for their personalized therapies. The resolution with which we type our inventory and the vast choice of ready-typed lots means we’re perfectly positioned to meet that need, facilitating faster and more effective drug development for our customers.”

Quote from Yvette Stallwood, Head Applied Protein Services, Lonza Biologics: “The HLA alleles of a donor can also be an important factor for immunogenicity and immunotoxicity risk assessment. This is especially important for novel antibodies and cell therapies that target specific HLA:peptide complexes. In our Applied Protein Services team in Cambridge, UK, we offer services using HLA-typed primary cells to evaluate immunogenicity and immunotoxicity risk of biotherapeutics during drug development. Ensuring that the primary cells used in these complex assays are from donors with the relevant HLA will provide key safety data prior to first-in-human trials.”

Basel, Switzerland, 10 November 2020 – Lonza has announced that it now provides an expansive selection of high-resolution Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA)-typed primary cells spanning all major cell and tissue types. The ready-typed lots will eliminate the need for burdensome in-house sequencing processes and provide drug developers with a critical tool for the more effective development of personalized therapies. Nearly 50 different cell types are available from Lonza’s broad donor inventory, with detailed HLA data derived from gold-standard next-generation sequencing techniques. The new offering builds on Lonza’s renowned human primary cell capabilities to meet rapidly growing market demand for deeper and more comprehensive cell characterization.

A person’s HLA type is a key determinant of the immune system’s response to foreign substances. HLA data is critical for preclinical exploration of cross-reactivities and off-target drug effects. HLA information is also needed for the development of engineered biotherapeutic T cell receptors and antibodies, better patient stratification to optimize the clinical effectiveness of cancer therapies, and is fundamental for the development of new cancer vaccines. As such, there is a rapidly growing market need for high-quality HLA-typed primary cells.

However, screening cell lots for HLA type can be lengthy and cumbersome to conduct in-house, and there is no guarantee that unscreened purchased lots will be the desired HLA type. Further, many vendors are only able to offer lots with lower-resolution HLA information obtained from serological typing methods, which can lead to incomplete HLA matching and poorer predictivity of in vitro models as a result. Being able to select lots with the desired high-resolution HLA data thus confidently enables a time- and cost-efficient preclinical development and boosts chances of drug development success.

Having previously offered HLA-typing services to its customers on a custom basis, Lonza is now providing high-resolution HLA information at no additional cost for a wide selection of its cell lots. With a diverse donor inventory that includes different age groups, genders, and ethnicities, a broad range of donor cell lots with various HLA types are currently available, including HLA-A2*01.

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