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Study on Robotic System for Cell Therapy Manufacturing

by Pieter Werner

Multiply Labs, a company specializing in automated manufacturing systems, has announced the publication of a peer-reviewed study in Cytotherapy, a journal associated with the International Society for Cell & Gene Therapy. The study focuses on a robotic system developed by Multiply Labs for the expansion phase of T cells in cell therapy manufacturing.

The research article, titled “Development of a robotic cluster for automated and scalable cell therapy manufacturing,” reveals that the robotic system can automate an existing manual process while maintaining statistical equivalence in critical process parameters. According to the study, implementing this technology could reduce costs in typical GMP-level cell therapy manufacturing by approximately 70% on a per-product basis.

Currently, the high costs of developing and manufacturing cell therapies, largely due to labor-intensive processes and the shortage of skilled workers, limit access to these treatments. The study suggests that the use of Multiply Labs’ automated system can significantly reduce these costs while achieving similar results in cell yields, viability, and phenotype compared to manual processes.

An additional benefit of the robotic technology is its compatibility with existing cell therapy manufacturing instruments. The study indicates that this compatibility allows for automation of cell expansion protocols without significant changes to the process or the product characteristics. Furthermore, the robotic system is shown to reduce human errors, a major cause of contamination in cell therapy manufacturing, potentially leading to higher quality and sterile products even in non-classified environments.

Fred Parietti, Ph.D., Co-founder and CEO of Multiply Labs, commented on the significance of the study, emphasizing its role in demonstrating the capabilities of automation technology in replicating manual cell expansion processes and reducing costs.

The release notes the challenges of introducing automation in the biotech field, particularly in FDA-approved therapeutic manufacturing, which requires regulatory resubmissions for changes in instruments or processes. Multiply Labs’ approach, focusing on robotic systems that operate with various GMP instruments already used in the industry, aims to facilitate quicker automation implementation and fewer regulatory obstacles.

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