CGT Catapult and Cellular Origins Team Up to Develop Automated CGT Manufacturing

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CGT Catapult will implement Cellular Origins' robotic platform in its Stevenage, UK, site to establish automated CGT manufacturing.

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The Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult (CGT Catapult), a UK-based independent innovation and technology organization specializing in CGTs, announced on May 29, 2024 that it has teamed up with Cellular Origins, a TTP company focused on enabling scalable, cost-effective, and efficient cell and gene therapy (CGT) manufacturing, to establish a universal automated system for CGT manufacturing.

Under the partnership, the two parties will implement the physical and digital integration of existing bioprocessing equipment at CGT Catapult’s Manufacturing Innovation Centre (MIC) in Stevenage, UK. They plan to achieve this integration by combining Cellular Origins’ robotic platform, Constellation, with CGT Catapult’s expertise in good manufacturing practice (GMP) operations. The goal is to generate evidence of the benefits of automation in real-world applications and advance the understanding of how automation can address barriers to scaling up that have hindered progress in CGT manufacturing.

Cellular Origins stated in a company press release that “[t]he unique benefit of Constellation is universal automation that fluidically and digitally integrates a wide range of existing bioprocessing equipment, with minimal change to both the biological process and the bioprocessing equipment.” The company’s use of automated tube welding allows it to adapt to a process, consumables, and equipment, rather than the other way round. The company can adapt without the need to add new components or connectors, which would enable therapy developers to scale their respective CGT therapy for wider administration to patients without the delays and risk of needing to re-develop their respective manufacturing process, according to Cellular Origins in the press release.

The Constellation platform will be based at CGT Catapult’s Stevenage MIC in that organization’s digital and automation testbeds. GCT Catapult launched two new digital and automation testbeds on May 29 as well. According to CGT Catapult’s press release, “The modules will be among the first sandbox environments anywhere in the world that have been specifically designed with automation, digital, and robotic technologies for the cell and gene therapy industry. They will mirror GMP standards to ensure that the processes developed can be rapidly deployed into GMP-compliant facilities.”


In addition to being equipped with the Constellation platform, these first testbeds will offer access to autoloMATE, an advanced orchestration and manufacturing management software from Autolomous, a UK-based provider of cloud-based CGT software platforms, which will allow for a streamlined and data-driven workflow, according to the CGT Catapult press release.

“[W]e are delighted to announce this collaboration, enabling us to access [CGT Catapult’s] expertise and leverage the full potential of Constellation to revolutionize CGT manufacturing at scale. CGT Catapult’s experience in establishing GMP facilities and optimizing cell therapy manufacture is directly aligned with Cellular Origins’ mission to prove the impact automated manufacturing can have in transforming cell therapy production. Through this partnership, we will work to demonstrate an automated manufacturing approach that will provide a route for patients worldwide to access these life-saving therapies,” said Edwin Stone, PhD, CEO at Cellular Origins, in the release.

“Embracing automation is a key step that the cell and gene therapy industry must take to reduce costs, increase efficiency and meet the growing demand for advanced therapies,” said Matthew Durdy, chief executive at the CGT Catapult, in the release. “Through working with leading robotics and software experts such as Cellular Origins, we aim to develop new strategies that increase levels of automation. This will help our collaborators access the benefits of these technologies, help make advanced therapies more affordable to healthcare systems, and help more patients receive life changing therapies.”

Source:Cellular Origins and Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult