Oct 24, 2023
Jason Bock, Co-Founder and CEO of CTMC, and Dr. Chris Flowers, Division Head of Cancer Medicine and Chair of Lymphoma and Myeloma at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, are collaborating to accelerate the development of cancer cell therapies and manufacturing innovative cell therapies for cancer patients. CTMC is a joint venture between MD Anderson Cancer Center and National Resilience created to address the challenges of delivering autologous cell therapies at a scalable level. Jason and Chris highlight the value of face-to-face interaction in solving the complex logistics of getting a drug from the research into the clinic.
Jason explains, "We created CTMC to address the challenges of delivering autologous cell therapies to treat cancer patients. This modality is unique in that the starting material for each batch of product comes from the patient. And so, the actual manufacturing supply chain starts with the patient. We bring that into the manufacturing facility, engineer the cells, expand them, and then reinfuse those to the same patient. The clinic and manufacturing site relationship is much more connected than any other therapeutic modality. MD Anderson, being a leader in cancer cell therapy and seeing that cell therapy would be transformative for cancer treatment, we created this venture to address better the challenge of the connectedness between cell therapy, clinical trials, and manufacturing sites."
Chris elaborates, "Our group at MD Anderson had a very similar concept and idea that started a little bit later, about five years after that and looking at the same target. Throughout the last three years, our group has collaborated with CTMC and has taken the concept of that target and moved it from animal models and cell models where we were testing to see whether this was a good target and effective of killing lymphoma cells. We took this to animal models, where we tested and showed that it was effective. Then, collaborating with CTMC to go through the entire FDA regulatory process to get an IND approval to develop the manufacturing process. So, not just a targeted cell therapy that was effective in the lab, but a targeted cell therapy that could be effective and be administered to patients. That whole scale-up and manufacturing process was a collaboration that happen with CTMC."
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