BWB TV: The Future of Life Sciences in 7 interviews

At Biotech Week Boston this year, we spoke to a whole range of experts leading the way in their fields. Here we’ve gathered all seven of the in-depth interviews exploring cutting- edge research on everything from mAb manufacturing, to the future of food, to big data, to the ‘microbiome organ’.

Designing the foods of the future – David Edwards, Professor of the Practice of Idea Translation, Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

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Developing automated cell processing strategies with Olivier Waridel, GE

As previously the CEO of medical device company Biosafe and now GM of Cell Banking & Point of Care at GE Healthcare, Olivier Waridel understandably feels positive about the recent partnership between the two companies. For him, the collaboration broadens the possibilities for both companies, ultimately working towards a ‘full solution for players in the CAR-T and immunotherapy space’.

‘Automatising’ cell processing is one of the developments Waridel has worked on and is most proud of. Using the example of cord blood banking Waridel outlines the process development ‘all the way from a sample in a bag to the cyro-preservation tank…[we] developed the tools for the whole processing of that in the laboratory’.

Cord blood banking is just one such example, and Waridel goes on to explain his work in ‘the clinical trials going on in the regenerative medicine space where it is required to have a closed system and automation for orthopaedic, cardiovascular and other trials that are going on. Our instruments can automate the process in the operating room; getting the cells ready for the re-infusion into the patient.’

The cell therapy space is a natural progression for Biosafe, allowing them to build on their previous experience of automating the cell processing line. Waridel explains how they use the same technology they already employ, but are also introducing a new instrument, Sefia, which has been specifically developed for the cell therapy space. Sefia will assist them with ‘running through the different cell manipulations and will help with the delivery to the end patient’.

In terms of differentiating their product from similar instruments on the market, Waridel highlights that Biosafe’s is centrifugation based:

‘The beauty is the technology in itself, so it allows us to process volumes and the way the cells are centrifuged allows us to go into detail into which lap of cells we are collecting and offers a lot of flexibility.’

The technology also allows them to include customers within the process development, building increasingly fluid relationships. Waridel aims to increase ‘reliability and stability’, and therefore increase the number of patients they can treat.

Watch the full interview, filmed at Cell Therapy Manufacturing & Gene Therapy Congress, with Olivier Waridel above, or here.

Exclusive Interview: The CCRM & GE Healthcare Collaboration

With Nick Timmins, VP of Technology and Director of BridGE, CCRM

Nick Timmins, VP of Technology and Director of BridGE at CCRM sat down with us this October at Biotech Week Boston to discuss the collaboration efforts between CCRM and GE Healthcare, what issues have been encountered along the way, his experience working with start-ups, and much more. When initially outlining the GE collaboration, Nick mentions, “A key focus of this collaboration is really about identifying where gaps are in the field for cell and gene therapy manufacturing solutions both on the process side of things as well as the technologies that we utilize to enable those processes.” watch the full interview below to hear his complete thoughts on these pressing issues and the importance of this collaboration on the cell and gene therapy industry.

Under the Microscope: Latest Trends

With such a fast paced industry, it is sometimes hard to keep up with the most current trends in the industry. We asked a selection of the speakers here at the conference what they saw as the emerging trends in the industry; here is what they had to say.


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Single-use technology: The future of the bioprocessing industry?

Single-use technologies was one of the key topics at this year’s BioProcess International European Summit with a number of leading industry figures putting it in the spotlight.

“From hypothesis to market it takes an average of 10 years & $2.7 billion per drug, which puts a lot of pressure on bioprocessing.”

In a single sentence Wolfgang Kuhne, Vice President Technical Development Bioprocessing and Clinical Supply at Roche Diagnostics, highlighted the key problem facing the biopharmaceutical industry today. It is no wonder then that the promise of reduced costs and greater flexibility makes single-use technologies an increasingly attractive prospect for many.

Traditionally there has been a disconnect between the risk a drug won’t make it to market and the amount of money needed to start building facilities, but as Parrish M. Galliher, CTO Upstream at Xcellerex at GE Healthcare Life Sciences, emphasised at the event in April, “there is a certain amount of risk mitigation that single-use technology has provided”. Indeed, GE’s figures show that single-use implementation results in an average 32% saving on costs and a 30% increased capacity.

EXPLORE: Read our exlcusive interview with Parrish Galliher on the
challenges of increasing drug diversity

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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Combatting the Manufacturing Challenges of Increasing Drug Diversity with Parrish M. Galliher, CTO Upstream at Xcellerex at GE Healthcare Life Sciences

In an industry as dependent on cutting-edge technology as bioprocessing, there will inevitably be a huge range of ever-changing challenges facing manufacturers. However, for Parrish M. Galliher, CTO Upstream at Xcellerex at GE Healthcare Life Sciences, one issue currently stands above all others: “The biggest challenge right now is the rate of change of drug design.”

Galliher describes how as drug diversity increases, “so the timescale to respond from a manufacturer’s perspective must by definition shrink…The manufacturer’s tool chest is beginning to be pressed for technologies that afford speed of change and many facilities being built are increasingly at risk of becoming obsolete.”

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Unlocking the Potential for Efficiency in Downstream Bioprocesses

By Madhu Raghunathan, Product Strategy Leader at GE Healthcare Life Sciences

In today’s bioprocessing industry, there is an increasing demand to cut costs while ensuring that product quality is not compromised whatsoever.

Specifically, improvements in productivity and efficiency are ranked as the single most important area on which the biomanufacturing industry should focus its efforts (12th Annual BioPlan report 2015).

These improvements are relevant for both existing and new facilities, and agility and flexibility in production are key elements. Novel technologies and innovative process strategies, such as intensified processing, enable more efficient biomanufacturing operations, even for existing facilities.

FIND OUT MORE: See Madhu Raghunathan talk at BioProcess
International European Summit in April – register here

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