Development themes

This area contributes to the improvement in expansion, formulation and delivery of ‘therapeutic’ cells. Our advanced surface technologies, applied to a range of existing devices, can be customised to virtually any clinically relevant cell type to improve on current technologies and reduce the manufacturing COGs of cell-based therapies, by:

  • Better utilisation of reagents – Smart functionalised surfaces that more effectively deliver growth factors and ECM proteins for rapid cell expansion. Surface technology applied to virtually any material, irrespective of 2D or 3D geometry, can be tailored to suit a broad range of therapeutic cell types.
  • Targeted delivery – Surfaces and gels that allow targeted delivery of cells to their specific site of action, to improve efficacy and reduce cell dose. Technologies are being developed for both topically- and pareneterally-administered cells.
  • Improved transplant devices – Transport bags with unique surface features that increase the survival of cells requiring transportation – currently in preclinical testing.
  • Cell-attracting surfaces – Unique cell-capturing, anti-fouling surfaces for rapid repair and revascularisation of implants and tissues after surgical intervention and transplantation.

Cell-based immunotherapies have gained considerable attention due to recent positive clinical results in blood-borne tumours. However, challenges still remain with the ultimate commercial viability of immunotherapies. CTM CRC is applying novel materials and surface modification expertise to address specific issues such as target specificity, manufacturing and delivery.

  • T cell expansion – Centre researchers have developed a novel material for the ex vivo expansion of therapeutic T cells, designed to integrate into existing T cell expansion platforms. This is currently being tested in a range of commercial platforms, and preliminary data compares very favourably to well-established technologies.
  • Specific cancer target – CTM CRC is in the preclinical stages of investigating a specific cancer antigen as a potential CAR-T cell target for treatment of solid tumours.
  • Gene delivery – Investigating, particularly materials-based devices and non-viral approaches, that improve the transfer of DNA/RNA into cells, with application in both cell and gene therapies.

CTM CRC is expanding its infrastructure to incorporate pilot scale-up and process development capabilities that will add value to early-stage technologies and therapies and facilitate their rapid and seamless transition into the clinic.

  • Regulatory compliance – Extensive experience in the development and scale-up of GMP-compliant processes and technologies for cell therapies ensures Quality by Design and Development by Design principles are applied to all product development projects.
  • Access to clinical infrastructure – CTM CRC is located close to South Australia’s new Biomed City, that includes a new state-of-the-art teaching and research hospital and several health research institutes, and together, they will comprise the largest Health and Biomedical Precinct in the southern hemisphere.