The 4th Annual MarketsandMarkets Next-Gen Bioprocessing Conference on the 20th & 21st of October 2022 is just about 12 weeks away & we’re gleaming with excitement with what lies in store.
An opportunity to witness over 15+ industry experts delve deep into key topics such as cell culture & bioproduction, downstream processing & continuous biomanufacturing and cell and gene therapy analytics. A chance to network with 100+ peers from various domains within the bioprocessing ecosystem and 2 jam-packed days full of in-depth case studies & comprehensive presentations.
As we count down the days, ‘Rohan Kamat’ was kind enough to sit down with us to share a tiny snippet of what we can expect at the conference in Boston!
1. What are the recent advances in cell and gene therapy and current challenges that need immediate attention ?
Cell and gene therapy has taken a center stage since the last decade; especially with commercialization in the CAR-T cell therapy space and the initiation of numerous clinical trials across the globe. While oncology remains the main focus in the space, treating rare genetic diseases has also gained traction in the last few years with certain approved therapies.
Recent advances in cell and gene therapy revolve around various platforms for gene delivery like viral vectors, genome editing and even generating ‘off-the shelf’ cell therapies. While the advances move ahead, bottle necks are obvious to crop up. Challenges are multi-factorial in the cell and gene therapy space ranging from technical, regulatory to ethical in nature. A typical patient enrolled for cell and gene therapy is in a desperate need for the respective therapy; ‘how stringent has to be the product release’ is a regulatory as well as a quality assurance call to strike the fine balance between safety and ensuring the patient is treated at earliest. The other challenge is availability of GMP grade consumables and advanced drug intermediates like the viral vectors. Due to high demand, the lead time for certain requirements may extend in years; in such a case newly born entities are left with no choice but to either ‘wait’ or ‘reinvent the wheel’.
With the above mentioned advances and then the challenges, cell and gene therapy is on an upward trend and will soon be common place for difficult to treat diseases.
2. What are the key take away points from your presentation topic which will help in building the knowledge base of the attendees ?
Immuneel Therapeutics is the 1st commercial entity to initiate a CAR-T cell therapy clinical trial in India. Since its inception, Immuneel has setup a facility that can deliver across Innovation to manufacturing of CAR-T cells along with an in-house Quality Control labs to release the product. In partnership with multiple hospitals across India, this clinical trial with set the stone for increased accessibility to leukemia and lymphoma patients not only in India, but also span the subcontinent.
In this presentation, I will briefly talk about Immuneel’s journey so far and also speak about how we intend to make cell and gene therapy affordable and accessible in India.
SPEAKER BACKGROUND :
Rohan Kamat obtained his PhD in Molecular Virology from The Tata Memorial Centre’s Advanced Centre for Treatment, Research and Education in Cancer, Navi Mumbai, India, where he developed viral vectors for gene therapy. After a brief post-doctoral fellowship in Neurobiology at NCBS, Bangalore, Rohan ventured into entrepreneurship where he founded Viravecs Labs and Straximm Therapeutics.
Currently Rohan heads the R&D division at Immuneel Therapeutics in Bangalore, India. Immuneel works on making cellular immune-therapies affordable to India and the sub-population. Immuneel’s first asset in clinical trials is a CD19 targeting CAR-T cell therapy for leukaemia and lymphomas.
Keep an eye out on this space for more excerpts from leading experts sharing their outlook on the latest innovations, challenges & the path forward!