GSK and Miltenyi Biotec establish cell and gene therapy collaboration
16 March 2016
Collaboration includes discovery programme for CAR-T cell-based oncology therapies
GSK and Miltenyi Biotec today announced a strategic collaboration that will bring together GSK’s expertise in developing cell and gene therapy based treatments with Miltenyi Biotec’s global leadership in cell processing and related technologies in cell therapy. The collaboration seeks to optimise the manufacture and delivery of these personalised therapies using increased automation and leading edge processing technology.
GSK is building a cell and gene therapy R&D platform to underpin development of novel therapies in oncology and rare diseases – two of its core research areas. This reflects the company’s belief in cell and gene therapy’s potential as an important treatment approach for tackling the underlying cause of serious disease.
Through the collaboration, Miltenyi Biotec will engage with GSK to integrate greater automation and high-tech processing technology into GSK’s current cell and gene therapy R&D manufacturing capabilities. The goal is to use this increased automation to further industrialise cell and gene therapy, overcoming the manufacturing and scale-up constraints associated with current, more manual cell and gene therapy processes. This could reduce the costs and geographical barriers associated with this treatment approach, speed development of therapies and support their potential beyond rare diseases and limited populations.
The collaboration will also bring together the technology and expertise of both companies to advance the discovery of new CAR (chimeric antigen-receptor) T-cell based therapeutics – cells that have been engineered to target and destroy cancer cells by strengthening a patient’s natural T-cell response. GSK and Miltenyi Biotec will collaborate on defined CAR-T oncology targets and on the development of advancements in technologies in this space that may be further applied by both companies. This collaboration supplements GSK’s existing CAR-T preclinical portfolio.
Patrick Vallance, President of Pharmaceuticals R&D at GSK, said: “Cell based gene therapies are living treatments, unique to individual patients and complex to manufacture. We see tremendous potential for the cell and gene therapy platform we are building within GSK, however the complexity of current manufacturing processes limits their use to local treatment of small patient populations. Working with Miltenyi Biotec, our vision is to transform current technology so that we can expand the possibilities for cell and gene therapy treatment to wider patient populations with broader geographical reach.”
Stefan Miltenyi, President and CEO at Miltenyi Biotec, said: “For more than 20 years we have been developing and providing cell therapy solutions to patients worldwide. Working together with the global experts at GSK, we will accelerate innovation to broaden patient access to future personalised cell and gene therapy.”
About Cell and Gene therapies
Cell and gene therapies are potentially powerful disease modifying experimental treatments that focus on genetically engineering living cells to either repair the direct cause of a genetic defect or equip them with genes that enhance their functions.
To make cell and gene therapy treatments, selected populations of cells are extracted from the body and genetically-engineered to produce the desired therapeutic effect. This can mean replacing a faulty gene in a stem cell or changing immune cells so they can recognise tumours. The transformed cells are then re-introduced into a patient’s body where they exert their effect by replacing faulty genes or educating the immune system to recognise and kill cancer cells
GSK – one of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies – is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer. For further information please visit www.gsk.com.
Miltenyi Biotec is one of the world’s leading providers of products and services for biomedical research as well as cell and gene therapy. The company is committed to enabling the delivery of new treatment options to patients with unmet medical need. Miltenyi Biotec’s portfolio of innovative solutions and enabling technologies have set new standards in the industry. The company has more than 1,600 employees in 25 countries and its products have been used in more than 50,000 cell therapy procedures. For more information please visit www.miltenyibiotec.com.