Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer, the largest hospital in Israel and the Middle East region, and Swiss-based CDMO Lonza have announced a collaboration to develop point-of-care cell-therapy manufacturing using the state-of-the-art CocoonTM manufacturing platform. The partnership will enable Sheba to vastly streamline its in-house cell manufacturing process and produce genetically engineered human CAR-T cells for applications in treating critically ill oncology patients.
This collaborative agreement brings together a leading academic clinical center and an established development and manufacturing partner with the goal of delivering potentially curative therapies to a greater number of patients with advanced hematological malignancies. Sheba Medical Center has a proven track record of treating oncology patients using novel immunotherapy treatments such as CAR-T; and Lonza will leverage its expertise in autologous cell-therapy process development to transfer Sheba’s current open, manual protocols into Lonza’s closed, automated CocoonTM platform.
"With the collaborative potential of this venture, we look forward to jointly leading the next personalized cell-therapy revolution. Lonza’s CocoonTM platform provides us the ability to manufacture cell therapies faster and closer to the point-of-care and in a scalable manner at lower cost so that we can treat more oncology patients who turn to us as a last resort," said Professor Dror Harats, MD, Deputy Director for Research and Development and Director for Clinical Trials at Sheba Medical Center.
Eytan Abraham, Head of Personalized Medicine, Lonza Pharma Biotech & Nutrition added, “This collaboration with Sheba Medical Center, a proven leader in point-of-care manufacturing and treatment of patients with novel immunotherapies, is a key part of the development program for the CocoonTM platform. We aim to confirm the benefits of using our closed, automated GMP-in-a-box concept to more efficiently manufacture personalized cell therapies right where the patients are, enabling treatment of a larger patient population.”