NEWARK, NJ, March 23, 2021 – BioCentriq™, the New Jersey Innovation Institute’s cell and gene therapy development and manufacturing center, announces its partnership with Kytopen, a Cambridge based startup spun out of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
“Our mission at BioCentriq is to work with innovative industry partners like Kytopen to advance the production and manufacturing of cell and gene therapies, making them accessible and affordable for the patients who so desperately need them” said Haro Hartounian, Ph.D. and SVP, general manager, BioCentriq. “This partnership aligns perfectly with that mission.”
Kytopen’s proprietary Flowfect® technology is a flexible, complete technology solution for non-viral cell engineering that integrates the discovery, development, and manufacturing of cell and gene therapeutics. The platform speeds therapies from the clinic to commercial use by enabling cell engineering without compromising functionality or viability. Kytopen’s technology reduces risk and provides maximum control and flexibility to drive higher yields, faster approvals, and better outcomes for curative cellular disease treatment.
“The Flowfect® platform is a transformative solution that eliminates the complexity of gene delivery for cell engineering and links discovery, development and manufacturing in one flexible scalable solution,” stated Paulo A. Garcia, Ph.D., CEO and co-founder of Kytopen. “Our goal is to enable simple and efficient non-viral manufacturing of cell therapies in days versus weeks to help patients; our partnership with BioCentriq accelerates that goal.”
“Our Flowfect® technology utilizes a novel combination of electrical energy and continuous fluid flow to engineer cells” said Bethany Grant, M.S., head of research and development at Kytopen. “Our ability to engineer billions of cells in minutes with minimal disruption unlocks new opportunities to enable curative therapies in autologous or allogeneic therapeutic applications.”
In the initial phase of the collaboration, the Kytopen and BioCentriq teams will demonstrate the impact to both autologous and allogeneic cell therapies by integrating this novel transfection technology with other steps in the manufacturing process.
“We are in the midst of a cell engineering revolution with the emergence of CRISPR as well as transposon technology such as Sleeping Beauty, PiggyBac, TALEN, ZFN and others that is being held back by a lack of viable methods to introduce them into cells at scale” explained Alex Klarer, head of cell therapy for BioCentriq. “As a high yield cell transfection method, the Flowfect® technology provides a transformative improvement to how we approach cell therapy manufacturing by facilitating non-viral cell engineering modalities. The platform is built with GMP manufacturing in mind as it incorporates easily into modular manufacturing processes and utilizes closed and automated techniques.”
BioCentriq™ is a full service CDMO for cell and gene therapy process development and clinical manufacturing with a GMP clinical manufacturing facility in Newark, NJ and a pilot plant in South Brunswick, NJ. BioCentriq manufactures autologous and allogeneic cell therapies and gene therapies and specializes in viral vector production, cell and viral banking, and upstream and downstream processing. The organization also manufactures immunotherapies, including monoclonal antibodies and proteins, and vaccines and offers workforce development programs. Learn more at www.biocentriq.com.
Kytopen is a startup, spun out of MIT that has developed a proprietary Flowfect® technology for non-viral delivery of molecules into hard-to-transfect immune cells. The scalable Flowfect® technology platform uses electro-mechanical energy to deliver genetic payloads to cells in order to augment their functionality. The process relies on continuous fluid flow during an automated process and can be used for both small and large sample volumes to enable seamless scale up of engineered cell therapies, from discovery to development to manufacturing. Visit www.kytopen.com.
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