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Prepare to Be Amazed

We cannot predict what lies ahead with certainty but, given the pace of cell therapy research, I’m confident enough to feel excited

By Stephanie Sutton

Welcome to the fourth edition of our annual supplement on the hottest area of drug development: cell and gene therapies. When I first entered the industry many years ago as a journalist, cell therapies were still within the realm of science fiction. In fact, my boss at the time tossed out my news story about cell therapy research: “These therapies will never reach the market.”

But the fantastic thing about science is that it is constantly advancing – what seems impossible today may still come to pass in the years that follow. Given the trepidatious start (and the rejection of my initial excitement all those years ago), it’s been fascinating to see the field of advanced medicine grow. Cell therapies have reached the market and, although treatment comes with risks, it can be life changing and curative. Record numbers of companies are now getting involved in the field, and we’re seeing a record number of trials too. It’s incredible given that cell therapies were seen as science fiction not that long ago. 

We publish a weekly digest of news from the field via our Cell + Gene Curator newsletter – and each week the team is spoilt for choice; from early studies to trials to business deals, there is a lot going on. And greater achievements almost certainly lie ahead; for example, using cell therapies to treat solid tumors. Positive steps are being made (see our feature by downloading the supplement) – and the impact could be amazing.

If cell therapies are the science fiction of yesteryear, then “self-replicating living robots” – xenobots – tick that box today. Researchers believe such technology could eventually treat traumatic injury, birth defects, cancer, and even aging. I’ll be honest: I’m skeptical. Very skeptical. And yet (remembering my old boss), I am open minded enough to accept that I may end up eating my words in the decades to come – when xenobots are busy repairing my somewhat older body… 

Where will we be next year? Hopefully out of the COVID-19 pandemic – and hopefully with more cell therapy approvals. Where will we be in a few decades’ time? I can’t wait to see.

Download the supplement


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Cytiva is a global life sciences leader dedicated to advancing and accelerating therapeutics. Cytiva is a trusted partner to customers that undertake life-saving activities ranging from biological research to developing innovative vaccines, biologic drugs, and novel cell and gene therapies. Cytiva brings speed, efficiency and capacity to research and manufacturing workflows, enabling the development, manufacture and delivery of transformative medicines to patients.

Because patients are waiting for therapies that are more effective than what they use now, or that offer hope when current treatments don’t work. Cell and gene therapies check both boxes. These game-changers aren’t just treating symptoms; they have the potential to cure. Advanced blood cancers. Late-stage skin cancers. Inherited diseases that destroy vision and muscular function. And a growing number of other disorders.

Cytiva’s products and know-how have fueled several approved cell and gene therapies plus some of the 1000+ others under development around the globe. Beyond current technologies, Cytiva also supports what’s next – like cell therapies that can be scaled up in large bioreactors to treat many, and gene therapies that don’t rely on viruses for their delivery – collaborating to help institutions and companies bring more medical innovations to life.

Learn more at

Cell and gene therapies hold the promise to change lives. Even as the path to patients accelerates, manufacturing and regulatory complexity remains a challenge. With limited process templates, evolving regulatory guidance, and urgent patient needs, finding a partner with experience is critical to your success.

From solving your unique upstream and downstream challenges, to meeting urgent manufacturing timelines, and navigating uncertain regulatory guidelines, a knowledgeable partner can help move your cell and gene therapy from hype to hope. 

At MilliporeSigma, we’re giving shape to cell and gene therapy development every day. We bring 30+ years of expertise, and a global organization to integrate leading manufacturing technologies with process development, scale-up, safety testing, and the regulatory experience to meet your therapy’s needs.

We have more experience in this area than almost anyone else in the industry. We were the first gene therapy CDMO to produce commercial product following successful regulatory inspection. Our products and services include optimized manufacturing platforms, media and reagents; manufacturing, biosafety and characterization testing, as well as process development services. 

Draw on our experience to bring your cell and gene therapies to life.

Cell therapy 

Gene therapy

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