Pharma Focus Europe

Panasonic and Shinobi Therapeutics Collaborate on Cost-Effective iPS Cell Therapy Manufacturing Technology

Friday, April 19, 2024

Shinobi Therapeutics, a biotech firm pioneering a new line of immune-evasive iPS cell therapies, has forged a collaboration with Panasonic Holdings Corp and Kyoto University's Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA). Together, they aim to develop an innovative manufacturing platform to produce iPS-T cell therapies more efficiently and cost-effectively than current methods allow.

"Panasonic is dedicated to creating a manufacturing platform that ensures the production of safe cell therapies at the lowest possible cost," stated Yuki Kusumi, Representative Director and President of Panasonic Holdings Corporation. "Our goal is to reduce production time and costs without compromising safety or effectiveness. We're excited to see the Japanese biotech and engineering sectors unite to achieve this."

Although cell therapies hold immense promise in treating challenging diseases like blood cancers, their high manufacturing costs often limit accessibility. Leveraging Shinobi's iPS-T cell technology, rooted in a decade of iPSC research led by Shin Kaneko at CiRA, and utilizing iPSCs developed by Nobel laureate Shinya Yamanaka, the partnership plans to develop a closed-system manufacturing device by Panasonic, revolutionizing cell therapy production.

Shin Kaneko, Co-Founder at Shinobi, expressed, "Progress in iPS cell production and Shinobi's genetic modification of iPSCs for immune evasion have made regenerative T cell therapy more feasible. The automated cultivation device from this collaboration will significantly accelerate this progress, aiming to provide state-of-the-art regenerative killer T cell therapy for every patient."

This collaboration with Panasonic will tap into their manufacturing expertise to create a closed-system method for producing iPS-T cell therapies. The initial phase of this partnership is set to conclude in April 2025, with the release of the first prototype.

Dan Kemp, CEO at Shinobi, remarked, "While cell therapies hold the potential to revolutionize patient care for various challenging diseases, overcoming manufacturing and accessibility hurdles remains a considerable task. We're fortunate to collaborate with leading partners from academia and industry as we strive to make cell therapies accessible to all patients in need."



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