MD Anderson accelerates cellular therapy programs by buying state-of-art
Clayton R. Boldt, Ph.D.
Cellular therapies have emerged as an effective new therapy for patients with certain types of cancer, and MD Anderson has played an important role in advancing these novel treatments to the clinic. With recent agreements, MD Anderson has expanded its manufacturing and research capacity for cell therapies to bring new treatment options to more patients.
This month, MD Anderson finalized an asset purchase agreement with Bellicum Pharmaceuticals, Inc., to acquire its 60,000 sq. ft. cellular therapy manufacturing facility in the Texas Medical Center for $15 million. MD Anderson will operate this facility for its own internal programs and strategic partners.
Agreement offers new promise for cellular therapies
This manufacturing facility provides industrial capacity and expertise to accelerate MD Anderson’s cellular therapy efforts toward meaningful clinical advances, explains Jason Bock, Ph.D., vice president of Therapeutics Discovery and head of Biologics Product Development.
“We are excited to leverage this state-of-the-art development and GMP manufacturing facility to dramatically accelerate MD Anderson’s cell therapy programs,” says Bock.
The Therapeutics Discovery division is a unique drug discovery and development engine within MD Anderson, created to advance the next generation of impactful cancer medicines. This team of more than 100 researchers, clinicians and drug-development experts work with unmatched clinical insight to develop new therapies, including small molecules, biologics and cellular therapies, to answer unmet medical needs in oncology.
January is National Biotechnology Month, which recognizes the potential of biotechnology innovations to improve the lives of Americans. MD Anderson’s commitment to research, innovation and drug discovery is aligned with this goal and our mission to end cancer.
The Therapeutics Discovery team also works closely with
MD Anderson’s adoptive cell therapy (ACT) platform, which is working to create a variety of novel cellular therapy approaches for treating cancer. The ACT and Therapeutics Discovery platforms are part of the institution’s Moon Shots Program®, a collaborative effort to accelerate the development of scientific discoveries into clinical advances that save patients’ lives.
Bringing cutting-edge natural killer cell and T cell therapies to the clinic
“By synergizing the cell therapy research platforms and depth of clinical development experience with our newly acquired industrial capabilities, MD Anderson has created an unrivaled end-to-end engine to bring the most cutting-edge therapeutics from the lab to patients who need them,” says Bock.