Trends and Obstacles in the CGT Field (BIO 2024)

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Lonza’s Joe Garrity and Jerry Jiang discuss the latest trends and challenges in commercializing new CGTs.


Cell and gene therapies (CGTs) remain an important focus in the biopharma industry. During BIO 2024, Joe Garrity, senior director and head of Autologous Cell Therapy, and Jerry Jiang, clinical application specialist, Personalized Medicine, Cell and Gene Therapy, both at Lonza, discuss the latest trends and hurdles in the CGT space.

“Moving from the 2017 timeframe into 2020, we saw a heavy focus on a [significant amount of] money floating around focusing on autologous cell therapies and how we can better provide these life changing therapies to patients,” Garrity says. From the autologous cell therapy perspective, efficacy has been achieved, but the challenge remains that an autologous cell therapy is one manufacturing batch, or one dose, per patient. “The scaling is a little bit of a challenge,” Garrity says, noting, “This is where the allogeneic approach has taken over, and in the cell therapy space, we've really seen that shift … seen [focus] go from two-thirds autologous to one-third allogeneic to almost a 50/50 split.”

Garrity expects this trend to continue to where the industry may see a rise in allogeneic cell therapies, from a molecule number standpoint. “We're seeing a [bigger] influx of allogeneic cell therapies trying to provide a secondary option to commercially viable CAR-T [chimeric antigen receptor T cell]/CAR-NK [chimeric antigen receptor natural killer cell] drug products,” he states.

“At the end of the day it’s really about providing access and availability of cell therapies to those who really need it,” Jiang adds. “The cell therapy production process can be complex, and current solutions are not sufficient to be able to scale to the patient demand. So, as a result, new technologies are being developed to help reduce timelines and cost and improve scalability.”

Another issue Jiang points out is the difficulty in finding technicians who are able to work with and produce these therapies. “We've seen [many] different manufacturers try to figure out different ways of scaling down … either making the process faster or taking out other aspects of their manufacturing process to really streamline this process, as well as just reducing the costs [of these] therapies.”

Click the video above for the full interview. BIO 2024 occurred on June 3–6 in San Diego, Calif.