Speaker Spotlight – ‘Joseph M. Roig’ : 4th Annual MarketsandMarkets Next-Gen Bioprocessing Conference!

Boston plays host to the 4th Annual MarketsandMarkets Next-Gen Bioprocessing Conference on the 20th & 21st of October 2022 and we’re literally counting down the days! With over 100+ attendees & in-depth case studies & keynote presentations from 15+ leading industry experts, the event promises to deliver a comprehensively enriching experience!

As we keenly await to discover the speakers’ ideas, findings & foresight into the future of topics surrounding cell culture & bioproduction, downstream processing & continuous biomanufacturing and cell and gene therapy analytics, here’s a glimpse into what you can expect in Boston.

As part of the build-up to the conference got to briefly chat with Joseph M. Roig, (Associate Technical Director at Apheresis & Global MSAT Cell Therapy Development and Operations at Bristol Myers Squibb). Here’s what he had to say:

1. What are the recent advances in cell and gene therapy and current challenges that need immediate attention ?

Recent advances: In-vivo CAR T-cells induced by nanocarriers loaded with CAR genes and gene editing tools. This should circumvent most issues associated with autologous and allogeneic CAR T-cell products.

Current challenges: CAR T-cell manufacturing failure rate related to sub-optimal CD3+ cells (senescent, exhausted) collected from the patient. Most current CAR T-cell therapies have been approved as a third line treatment, so by the time CD3+ cells are collected from the patient, the patient has already received very aggressive treatments that negatively impact the health of the collected CD3+ cells, making CAR T-cell manufacturing difficult or even impossible.

2. What will be the key takeaways from your presentation which will help in expanding the knowledge base of the attendees ?

  • Increasing the consistency of apheresis products has benefits for the cell & gene therapy manufacturing process.
  • The quantity and purity of collected cells can be optimized, but the health of the collected cells is patient- and treatment-dependent.
  • Apheresis units are overwhelmed by so many different cell & gene therapy companies approaching them, each one with its own leukapheresis manual.
  • Cell & gene therapy companies need to pay more attention to undergoing efforts to standardize apheresis collection manuals, particularly to the recent guidance document/ white paper published by the American Society for Apheresis.


JOSEPH M. ROIG obtained his B.Sc in Chemistry in 1980 (University of Barcelona) and started his professional career at Coulter-Beckman, working in blood cell counting and flow cytometry. He joined COBE BCT (Terumo BCT) in 1991 to help the company start operations in Spain, moving to the US to continue working for them in 2000. During the years that he worked for COBE/Terumo BCT he was involved with all existing apheresis variants (donor collections, leukapheresis, therapeutic apheresis). He joined the Terumo BCT Scientific Support group in 2012 and the Medical Affairs group in 2016, the same year he got a Masters in Transfusion Medicine and Advanced Cell Therapies (EMTACT) by the Autonomous University of Barcelona. He became an independent apheresis consultant in 2019 and consulted for several cell & gene therapy companies including CRISPR Therapeutics, BioNTech, BlueBird Bio, PACT Pharma, Editas and Aruvant. He started working for Bristol Myers Squibb in 2020 as the Associate Technical Director of Apheresis for Global MS&T.



Keep an eye out on this space for more excerpts from leading experts sharing their outlook on the latest innovations, challenges & the path forward!

Ayush Kanitkar

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