The ‘transformative power’ of gene editing, with David Sourdive, Cellectis

‘Gene editing has a very transformative power in adaptive T cell therapy. In gene editing, we can make T cells do much more than they would normally do without being engineered.’ In this far-ranging interview, David Sourdive, Executive Vice President of Corporate Development at Cellectis, outlines the exciting updates from Cellectis’ current CAR-T therapy projects, from manufacturing, to clinical trials. He details his hope for the future and highlights the challenges that working with T cells can bring.

The possibilities of using gene editing to leverage the power of T cells into ‘better killers’ to ‘overcome the defence mechanisms of tumour cells’ are clear for Sourdive. Whilst acknowledging the current successful use of autologous treatments, he believes the industry is moving towards the possibility of ‘real pharmaceutical off the shelf T cell products’. There is an undeniable enthusiasm from Sourdive about gene editing to ‘maximise the power of T cells’, which can develop treatments that will meet the standard of care that chemotherapies and antibody therapies have.

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Developing Cell Therapy Manufacturing Processes

As a lead in to the upcoming Cell & Gene Therapy Bioprocessing & Commercialization conference this October, members of the expert speaking faculty have been kind enough to join the KNect365 Bioprocessing team to discuss hot topics, key innovations, major disruptors and more across the industry.

In today’s volume, Ravi Bhatia, Scientific Director, PDMS at Janssen R&D discusses his start in the cell therapy industry, collaboration and innovative thinking to solve process challenges, autologous CAR-T products, the manufacturing process, and the upcoming conference where he will be presenting a session titled, “Scale-Up of an Allogeneic Cell Therapy Product”.

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Overcoming the Challenges of Engineered Autologous T-Cell Therapies

At the Cell Therapy Bioprocessing and Commercialisation conference in Virginia we spoke to Dr. Marc Better, Vice President of Product Sciences at Kite Pharma, about his work on T-cell therapies.

To begin, can you tell us a little bit about the projects you are currently working on?

MB: Kite is advancing a broad pipeline of engineered T-cell therapy products for the treatment of patients with both haematological cancers and solid tumours. The company is developing both chimeric antigen receptors or CARs and T-cell receptors or TCR product candidates, which we believe have the potential to transform the lives of full-out cancer patients.

The company’s most advanced effort is Phase I/Phase II clinical study of our lead product KTC 19 in patients with refractory aggressive Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. We recently reported progress in this programme and we expect to initiate the Phase II portion of our trial soon, as well as commence additional trials with this particular product in other indications hopefully later on this year.

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