20 July 2023 | Thursday | News
SCG Cell Therapy Pte Ltd (SCG), a biotechnology company developing novel immunotherapies for infectious diseases and their associated cancers, has celebrated the official opening of its Cell Therapy cGMP Manufacturing Facility and R&D Centre at its headquarters in Singapore. With the support of the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), the new facility leverages and extends SCG's capabilities in advanced cell therapy manufacturing and off-the-shelf human-induced Pluripotent Stem Cell (iPSC) technology. The facility will supply cell therapy products to partner hospitals in Asia Pacific, North America, and Europe.
"Cell therapy has demonstrated the potential to revolutionize treatment for cancers and other life-threatening diseases. However, the high manufacturing costs and supply limitation are limiting patient access to the treatment", said Christy Ma, Chief Strategy Officer of SCG Cell Therapy.
Cell therapy list prices range from US$373,000 to US$475,000 (S$504,000 to S$640,000) depending on the specific drug and indication, and the demand outstrips supply.
In a report entitled "Bold Goals for U.S. Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing", the U.S. White House recently announced biotech-related "bold goals" to advance the development of cell therapy aiming to expand patient access to the treatments and decrease the manufacturing cost by 10-fold.
Cell therapy manufacturing is often a complex process. It involves many handling steps of highly sensitive "living" cells under strictly controlled conditions. Transforming from the traditional open and manual processes, SCG employs its proprietary closed and automated cell therapy manufacturing technologies, providing advantages in reduced contamination and risk, greater product consistency and efficiency, increased scalability and lower cost.
"This advanced cell therapy manufacturing system reduces the amount of required cleanroom space by 80% per patient compared with manual manufacturing methods. It eliminates the labour-intensive procedures and improves throughput by a factor of ten. Overall, it is expected to reduce the per-patient manufacturing cost by up to 70%, making cell therapy an assessable and affordable treatment option for patients", Christy added.
In 2021, SCG collaborated with the Cell Therapy Facility of Singapore Health Sciences Authority (HSA-CTF) to validate its proprietary closed and automated cell therapy manufacturing system. The system was accredited by Singapore Health Sciences Authority (HSA) and the U.S. Food and Drug Admin