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Fraunhofer IZI: Optimization of novel immune cell therapies

Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology IZI and Klinikum Chemnitz gGmbH expand cooperation

Cell- and gene-based drugs, so-called Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (ATMPs), are now increasingly being used in the treatment of cancer. At the Fraunhofer IZI in Leipzig, PD Dr. Stephan Fricke, head of the GMP process development department, among other things on improving the manufacturing processes for such highly complex medicinal products. As a specialist in internal medicine, hematology and oncology, an immunologist at the German Society for Immunology (DGfI) and senior physician at the Clinic for Internal Medicine III at Klinikum Chemnitz gGmbH, he also bridges the gap in their application.

ATMPs contain or consist of "living" cells, which are intended to bring about long-term healing in patients after application. In addition to cell and gene therapeutics, this also includes other biotechnologically processed tissue products. The Fraunhofer IZI has long been a central manufacturing and development facility for a CAR-T cell therapeutic. This novel cancer immunotherapy uses the patient's own T cells to fight certain forms of blood cancer. In the GMP process development department, Fricke and his team are working on developing better manufacturing processes for such ATMPs.

Since the beginning of 2021, the doctor at the Chemnitz Clinic, in cooperation with the Poliklinik Chemnitz gGmbH, has been offering consultation hours for patients with immune defects. These can occur, for example, in connection with cancer or with recurring infections or inflammations. "This connection to practice is very important for my idea of ​​research, namely translational and close to the patient, and my specific research work," he explains.

In addition to research and development of new ATMPs, the work of PD Dr. Fricke and his team focus on the transfer of optimized manufacturing processes from the laboratory to the clinical scale. In cooperation with the director of the Fraunhofer IZI, Professor Ulrike Köhl, and the main department GMP Cell and Gene Therapy, GMP process development department competent partner to improve GMP processes, to design them more cost-effectively and to adapt them, but also to bring them into clinical application.

Source: Press release Fraunhofer IZI from July 01.02.2021, XNUMX

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