Nov 29, 2021
Boro Dropulić is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Caring Cross, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit dedicated to accelerating the development and manufacturing of advanced medicines to improve access to cures for all patients independent of where they live.
Boro explains, "One way to reduce the cost is by manufacturing the product locally at, what we call, the clinical place-of-care rather than using a centralized manufacturing model that has traditionally been used for drug distribution. By using automated devices to ensure the consistency of the products while they're being made, for example, CAR-T cell products, they can be produced at a fraction of the cost than when they're made centrally, even a 10th of the cost with current cost and materials."
"Once the CAR-T cell product is made, it is then reinfused back to the patient to have its anti-tumor effects. The most effective CAR-T cell products so far are autologous, meaning that they are from the patient's own cells and return back to the patient. There have been five FDA CAR-T cell products targeting diseases such as leukemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma that have been approved, and all are autologous CAR-T cell products."
"I think there's a whole range of opportunities with gene therapies because we're trying to address the genetic defect rather than trying to treat the symptoms of disease, which many drugs do. So I think there are enormous opportunities for CAR-T cells and other gene therapies to actually be transformative and really help patients with single administration therapies. Because these cells are living medicines, they live in the body and have long-term effects."
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