IsoPlexis and Lonza Webinar Wrap-Up: The Future of Cellular Immunotherapies

On-Demand Webinar Discusses the Future of CAR-T Therapies and Unique Technologies for Cell Manufacturing and Analysis

IsoPlexis and GEN recently held a webinar with Lonza on the use of the Lonza Cocoon™ and IsoPlexis’ IsoLight® in accelerating the development of CAR-T therapies. Dr. Matthew Hewitt, Head of R&D and Clinical Development, Personalized Medicine at Lonza, and Dr. Stacey Willard, Director of Product Management at IsoPlexis, joined Dr. Jeffrey Buguliskis of Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News in a discussion of the two products and their applications in the world of medicine.

Cocoon and IsoLight Platforms are Flexible and Scalable Tools for Cell Therapy Development

Dr. Hewitt discussed the Lonza Cocoon, which is a functionally closed, automated, and scalable platform for patient-scale cell therapy manufacturing. The Cocoon platform contains a single-use, highly customizable cassette in a dual-zone environmental unit,  intuitive software with a touchscreen interface, SAP connectivity, and more. Users can array multiple Cocoons on a central axis in what’s called a Cocoon Tree, allowing the platform to be scaled for commercial use. The Cocoon platform increases flexibility and process control while decreasing touch points, accelerating the process of cell therapy manufacturing.

Dr. Willard spoke about IsoPlexis’ functional proteomics platform and how it’s revealing the true functional biology of cells to accelerate research and medicine across many fields, including CAR-T therapy and cell manufacturing. Like the Cocoon, IsoPlexis’ IsoLight fills a gap in CAR-T research, ensuring that the cells produced perform their intended functions at all stages of the manufacturing process. A core purpose of the IsoPlexis platform is the identification of polyfunctional cells—cells which secrete multiple cytokines simultaneously and can be associated with functions like protective immune response or disease progression, depending on the specific cytokines secreted by the cell. These polyfunctional cells are highly predictive of patient outcome and cell therapy efficacy, and their identification helps researchers develop breakthrough targeted therapies.

The IsoPlexis platform has witnessed significant growth with its technology now used at 12 of the top15  pharma companies, 40% of major academic centers, and 80 major publications with more forthcoming. The IsoLight’s functional phenotyping is the emerging standard biomarker in immune medicine and has been referred to as the only functional cellular analysis tool with correlative biomarkers. Recently, the platform has been of critical use in COVID-19 immune research.

Innovative Technologies Combine to Accelerate Critical Discoveries and Therapy Development

Dr. Hewitt and Dr. Willard also spoke about the future of cell therapy, including the ways in which the Cocoon and IsoLight platforms can facilitate great leaps in innovation in the field. Dr. Hewitt stated that in order for research in the field to continue progressing, researchers must build a foundational knowledge of how cell therapies function. The speakers also emphasized the importance of collaboration between complementary technologies such as the Cocoon and the IsoLight, which together enable the highly efficient manufacturing and scaling of cell therapies. At the close of the webinar, the speakers took questions from the audience. Dr. Hewitt highlighted the Cocoon’s cell capacity of about 3 million cells, and the platform’s flexibility to work with cell types beyond T cells, such as HSCs, MSCs, monocytes, and DCs. Similarly, Dr. Willard emphasized the IsoLight’s use with CRISPR-edited cells and other cell types, the logistics of analyzing cells with the IsoLight, and the ability of the platform to measure 30+ cytokines per single cell.

Access the full on-demand webinar here.

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