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From Single Batch to Mass Production - Automated Platform Design Concept for a Phase II Clinical Trial Tissue Engineered Cartilage Product

: Haeusner, Sebastian; Herbst, Laura; Bittorf, Patrick; Schwarz, Thomas; Henze, Chris; Mauermann, Marc; Ochs, Jelena; Schmitt, Robert; Blache, Ulrich; Wixmerten, Anke; Miot, Sylvie; Martin, Ivan; Pullig, Oliver

Fulltext ()

Frontiers in medicine 8 (2021), Art. 712917, 8 pp.
ISSN: 2296-858X
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer IVV ()
Fraunhofer ISC ()
Fraunhofer IPT ()
Fraunhofer IZI ()
ATMP; autologous; automation and robotics; cartilage regeneration; GMP; manufacturing; tissue engineering; automation

Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (ATMP) provide promising treatment options particularly for unmet clinical needs, such as progressive and chronic diseases where currently no satisfying treatment exists. Especially from the ATMP subclass of Tissue Engineered Products (TEPs), only a few have yet been translated from an academic setting to clinic and beyond. A reason for low numbers of TEPs in current clinical trials and one main key hurdle for TEPs is the cost and labor-intensive manufacturing process. Manual production steps require experienced personnel, are challenging to standardize and to scale up. Automated manufacturing has the potential to overcome these challenges, toward an increasing cost-effectiveness. One major obstacle for automation is the control and risk prevention of cross contaminations, especially when handling parallel production lines of different patient material. These critical steps necessitate validated effective and efficient cleaning procedures in an automated system. In this perspective, possible technologies, concepts and solutions to existing ATMP manufacturing hurdles are discussed on the example of a late clinical phase II trial TEP. In compliance to Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) guidelines, we propose a dual arm robot based isolator approach. Our novel concept enables complete process automation for adherent cell culture, and the translation of all manual process steps with standard laboratory equipment. Moreover, we discuss novel solutions for automated cleaning, without the need for human intervention. Consequently, our automation concept offers the unique chance to scale up production while becoming more cost-effective, which will ultimately increase TEP availability to a broader number of patients.