Advanced Medicine In Brief
The world’s largest cell and gene CDMO, an exciting new TCR, and the global CAR-T picture… We examine what’s going on in advanced medicine
James Strachan | | Quick Read
- Meet what some are calling the world’s largest cell and gene CDMO. The new Center for Breakthrough Medicines facility will claim 680,000 square feet of the Discovery Labs complex, based in the King of Prussia area of Pennsylvania. Through $1.2 billion of funding by MLP Ventures, the new CDMO will employ 2,000 scientists, manufacturing experts, lab technicians, and support staff. The aim? To crack the production capacity problem.
- In a study that has received widespread media coverage, researchers used genome-wide CRISPR–Cas9 screening to uncover a TCR able to recognize and kill most human cancer types via the monomorphic MHC class I-related protein, MR1, while remaining inert to noncancerous cells. The new TCR was successful in mice and in vitro human cancer models.
- Citing Cancer Research Institute figures, a recent review offered insight into the global landscape of CAR-T cell therapy. As of February 2018, there were 404 CAR-Ts in the clinic, with the USA and China accounting for 80 percent of the total with 171 and 152, respectively. In terms of targets, both countries were focused on CD19 (over 40 percent), but in the USA, the second most common target of CAR-T cell clinical trials is BCMA; meanwhile, Chinese researchers are tackling CD20, CD22, and GPC3.
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