There is strong belief in medical research that immune cells and stem cells hold highest potency to combat severe disease burden of today like cancer, dangerous infections, auto-immune diseases, cardiovascular diseases. However, manufacturing of these often patient individualized cells happened and still happens in very simple cell expansion equipment (even those used in clinical trials). We acknowledged that the total potential of many cell types thus cannot be exploited: At Zellwerk GmbH we started 20 years ago developing a more sophisticated and high-tech based production of immune cells and stem cells for use in man.
We succeeded with the ZRP cell culture technology with several alone standing features. In many pre-clinical proves and analytical procedures we recognized a much longer ability of cells grown under directed laminar perfusion to proliferate as well as an increased secretory power, compared to the same cells expanded under normally used improper conditions (static culturing or turbulent medium flow).
More important could be another aspect: Production of immune cells and stem cells is expensive, particular for treatments with autologous, patient-derived cells (CAR T cells, TILs and others). In case of TIL our technology and cell culture process enable to produce a personal TIL ATMP at a price like common classical treatments of cancer. Our vision is to make our immune cell therapeutics more generally available.
Production of cells as ATMPs for therapeutic use in man: Until today it seems that there exist limitations to procure patients with immune cells and stem cells having identified as potent for treating cancer and many other diseases lacking effective treatment options. However, the main obstacles are others: The commonly used production processes are improper for manufacturing these cells in needed quantities and functionality. In addition the actual administrative hurdles do not convene with the risk for the affected patients, the requirements of personalized medicine are neglected. When available at all, it makes living cell therapeutics expensive.
At Zellwerk we have solved much of the mentioned difficulties: We produce the mostly in therapies used cells in mass amounts, in standardized and reproducible processes, in cost/effective manner and, most important, our cells are certified by the regional and national authorities for application in man. The cells are delivered as ATMP, normally as stabilized suspension for infusion.
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