CRC for Cell Therapy Manufacturing adds to its expertise with world-renowned RPA

The CRC for Cell Therapy Manufacturing and world-renowned Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, enter into partnership to advance Australia’s growing cell therapy industry.

Royal Prince Alfred Hospital’s Department of Cell And Molecular Therapies, headed by Professor John Rasko AO, joins the CRC for Cell Therapy Manufacturing. This partnership mobilises $1.8 million cash and in-kind investment within the CRC, leveraging over 50 years’ experience in the cell and gene therapy industry at RPA to help realise the CRC’s vision to make cell therapies more affordable and accessible.

Headquartered in Adelaide, CTM CRC is focused on the development of new materials-based manufacturing technologies to improve cell isolation, expansion and delivery and facilitate the rapid translation of cell therapies into clinical practice. With a strong team of clinicians and researchers, and commercial focus provided by its industry partners, the CRC will use these technologies to fulfil its objectives.

RPA’s department of Cell and Molecular Therapies will bring considerable know-how and expertise in clinical trials management and process development that will assist in the translation of promising CRC research into the clinic.

Professor Rasko said that Cell and Molecular Therapies at RPA was very enthusiastic about the opportunities being a CRC participant would bring.

“Our commitment to manufacturing and research and development now provides the CRC with a substantial opportunity to improve capacity for human clinical trials in this exciting and demanding field,“ Professor Rasko said.

In addition to the RPA team’s skills and expertise, the CRC will also gain access to the RPA’s unique Process Development (PD) laboratory. The Laboratory enables manufacturing processes to be scaled up from laboratory-scale to clinical/commercial scale in a tightly controlled environment, ensuring a smooth transition into registered clinical trials.

Dr Sherry Kothari, CEO and Managing Director of the CRC said that the skills of the RPA team and the PD laboratory would add key expertise and strengthen the capabilities of the Centre. Furthermore, the inclusion of the RPA in the CRC will open the door to more collaborations between CRC partners.

“The development of a promising cell into a therapy is long and arduous. The commercial ‘manufacture’ of a cell therapy requires a consistent and controlled process, to ensure a product that is safe and effective. Professor Rasko and his team at the RPA bring essential skills and experience in developing these processes that will be harnessed by the CRC to streamline the transition of research from the laboratory into clinical trials,” she said.

“The CRC’s greatest asset is its critical mass of research, clinical, regulatory and manufacturing expertise in cell-based therapies. The insight provided by its partners will help shape the future of this industry in Australia. The CRC is a powerful collaboration through which knowledge and expertise are leveraged to develop the next generation of therapeutics that have the potential to save lives.”

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