Stem cell therapy is garnering attention as several clinical trials have taken place in the recent years by using human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs). Hundreds of biotechnological companies are investing to find a permanent cure for difficult-to-treat diseases like age-related macular degeneration, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, etc. by using hPSCs. Therefore, clinical-grade cell manufacturing has become an important issue to make cell therapy products safe and effective. Current manufacturing practices are adopted from conventional antibody or protein production in the pharmaceutical industry where cells are used as a vector for producing the desired products. In cell therapy applications, cells are the products that are sensitive to physicochemical parameters and storage conditions anywhere between isolation to patient administration. Moreover, cell-based product manufacturing consists of multi-step processing, including isolation from patients, genetic modification, derivation, expansion, differentiation, purification, characterization, cryopreservation, etc. This can require long processing times and pose high risk of product contamination as well as high production cost. Herein, we discuss the current methods of biologics manufacturing and its limitations. We also review current practices for integrating and automating cell manufacturing facilities. Finally, we propose how to integrate multi-step cell processing in a single bioreactor to make the cell manufacturing practices more direct.
Part of the book: Current Topics in Biochemical Engineering