Magnetic Bead Technology Activates Novartis’ CAR-T Therapy

Thermo Fisher Scientific’s CTS Dynabeads technology isolates, activates and expands T-cells.

The FDA approved Novartis’ precedent-setting personalized CAR-T leukemia treatment on August 29th, and following this, various companies and academic institutions issued statements describing their part in the therapy’s development. Thermo Fisher Scientific released, the central role its DynabeadsTM technology plays in activating the therapeutic effects of CAR-T treatments to patient’s individual T-cells.

Part of Thermo Fisher Scientific's cell therapy systems portfolio, the magnetic beads isolate, activate and expands T-cells, which Novartis genetically engineers to recognize and fight cancer cells in each patient. According to Thermo Fisher Scientific, the company’s longstanding partnership with Novartis is an example of its focus on accelerating precision medicine. Originally formed in 2013, the alliance has evolved from an exclusive to a non-inclusive agreement, said Thermo Fisher Scientific, which will allow other CAR-T therapy developers to deploy the technology the company characterizes as “ready for commercial drug manufacturing T-cell isolation, activation and expansion platform.”

"Kymriah is an example of the rigor required to deliver viable cell therapies to physicians and their patients," said Alan Sachs, Chief Scientific Officer at Thermo Fisher Scientific. "We established a dedicated facility and a validated aseptic manufacturing process to ensure that our technology met the strict quality standards set by Novartis."

Kymriah manufacture requires taking blood cells from the patient and then isolating and “reprogramming” the T cells to identify and kill cancer cells. This preparation is then reinfused back into the patient. Thermo Fisher Scientific said Novartis’ CAR-T therapy is the embodiment of precision personalized medicine because each therapy is individual to the patient.

Thermo Fisher Scientific said that its proprietary magnetic bead technology has a recent history of supporting drug companies and researchers working on developing other CAR-T cell therapies. “In cell therapy manufacturing,” said the company, “Dynabeads CD3/CD28 deliver a scalable platform that streamlines production while ensuring high reproducibility.”

Nigel Walker

Mr. Walker is the founder and managing director of That’s Nice LLC, a research-driven marketing agency with 20 years dedicated to life sciences. Nigel harnesses the strategic capabilities of Nice Insight, the research arm of That’s Nice, to help companies communicate science-based visions to grow their businesses. Mr. Walker earned a bachelor’s degree in graphic design with honors from London College of Communication, University of the Arts London, England.