The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and National Resilience, Inc., today announced the launch of a joint venture, the Cell Therapy Manufacturing Center, to accelerate the development and manufacturing of innovative cell therapies for patients with cancer. Uniting the strengths of Resilience and MD Anderson, the joint venture will advance its work within a culture of academic innovation alongside industrial expertise.
The Cell Therapy Manufacturing Center will be based in a state-of-the art 60,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in the Texas Medical Center, with a team of 70 employees focused on process and analytical development as well as early-phase and clinical-stage Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).
The joint venture combines MD Anderson’s expertise in immunotherapy and cell therapies as well as a leading clinical trials infrastructure, with Resilience’s innovative biomanufacturing technologies, advanced analytics, and a national network for developing and producing cell therapies. Together, the parties aim to accelerate the path of cell therapies to the clinic, while enabling scalability and a smooth transition to late-phase clinical and commercial activities.
“Cell therapies have had a dramatic impact for patients with certain cancers, but progress has been hampered by structural challenges,” said Jason Bock, Ph.D., chief executive officer of the Cell Therapy Manufacturing Center. “This novel joint venture was conceived to address those challenges by harnessing the complementary capabilities of two world-class organizations, allowing us to advance innovative programs to deliver impactful therapies to patients.”
The joint venture will engage with MD Anderson researchers and external industry collaborators to advance new therapies through preclinical and clinical development, ensuring consistent and safe products that can be evaluated rapidly in clinical trials led by MD Anderson physicians. Resilience customers will be able to leverage this offering as part of the company’s growing network of biomanufacturing facilities that are flexible enough to scale projects from small-batch pre-clinical to large-scale commercial production. Resilience has 10 facilities across North America, with more than one million square feet of manufacturing space.
“The promise of cell therapies to help patients in need has been limited by a lack of innovation in biomanufacturing,” said Rahul Singhvi, Sc.D., chief executive officer of Resilience. “This collaboration aims to overcome those hurdles by extending our network with this unique partnership, creating opportunities to incubate innovative ideas and provide cutting-edge biomanufacturing technologies and processes to researchers, with a goal of bringing more cell therapies to patients.”
The joint venture will advance the most promising cell therapy modalities to answer unmet clinical needs, including engineered tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs), chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-modified T cells, endogenous T-cells (ETCs), engineered natural killer (NK) cells and other emerging technologies, for patients with hematological and solid tumors. MD Anderson researchers are leaders in the field of cancer cell therapy, responsible for advancing the translational and clinical development of many of the currently approved and experimental cell therapies.
The joint venture is built upon MD Anderson’s Biologics Development platform, formerly part of the institution’s Therapeutics Discovery division. Current strategic collaborations with MD Anderson’s Biologics Development platform will continue; collaborative relationships with MD Anderson’s Therapeutics Discovery division, as well as physicians and scientists across the institution, also will be maintained.
We believe in the tremendous potential of cell therapies to deliver solutions that offer cures, not merely prolonged survival. Resilience offers unique capabilities that make it an ideal choice for unlocking that potential and accelerating impactful cell therapies. Our mission at MD Anderson is to end cancer, and this joint venture is a strategic step toward realizing that goal.”
Ferran Prat, Ph.D., J.D., senior vice president for Research Administration and Industry Relations at MD Anderson
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center