Cellular Biomedicine Group And GE Healthcare Life Sciences China Announce Collaboration In New Joint Facility
By Jutta Schulze
Cellular Biomedicine Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:CBMG) and GE Healthcare Life Sciences China (GE Healthcare) announced a month ago that they have committed to a research cooperation focused on the joint development of a state-of-the-art immunotherapy cell preparation system in the area of stem cell manufacturing, especially Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-cell (CAR-T) manufacturing. The collaborative research will take place at CBMG’s new Shanghai Zhangjiang GMP-facility, which, together with GMP-facilities in Wuxi and Beijing, will provide around 70,000 square meters for development and production.
The project’s aim is the automation and standardization of the delivery of stem cell and CAR-T manufacturing in order to minimize costs and variability, as well as to increase the turnout of manufactured stem cells. Through this process the companies will be able to make engineered cells more accessible on the market.
CBMG is known for its advancements in the area of cell therapies, as well as immune-oncology and stem cell clinical trials in China for a broad range of cancer treatments and autoimmune diseases. At this time, CBMG is working on multiple technologies in the area of CAR-T manufacturing, most of which are in the pre-clinical trial phase. Their technologies and facilities are certified to meet international standards in both the United States, as well as in China. The company’s board of directors and management have been gathering experience in the fields of health care, pharmaceutical technologies and engineering, as well as biomedicine for more than three decades.
In February 2017, CBMG was awarded a grant of over $2 million from the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine to fund the company’s pre-clinical studies for the Allogeneic Stem Cell Therapy for knee osteoarthritis in the United States. Currently, no cure nor medical treatment exists which could effectively preserve the knee joint cartilage and thus slow down the progression of knee osteoarthritis. Patients can only rely on pain management but often suffer from side effects while their mobility increasingly vanishes and brings forward all the negative impacts on their health that his implies. Recent estimates show that there are about 27 million patients in the United States as well as 57 million patients in China who suffer from knee osteoarthritis with largely unmet medical needs.
The opening of CBMG’s new facility in Shanghai would allow for treating around 10,000 cancer patients as well as 10,000 knee arthritis patients per year, once the production of multiple CAR-T and stem cells has reached its full volume. Through this in-house production, CBMG and GE Healthcare would overcome one of the biggest obstacles currently faced when it comes to immune-oncology and stem cell therapies: the logistics of manufacturing.
Disclosures: The author, Jutta Schulze, holds no interest in any of the securities or entities mentioned above.
Cellular Biomedicine Group is a client of SCN Corporate Connect.