Limula and CSEM collaborate to make cellular therapies more accessibleMonday 13 February 2023
Limula's technology allows for the automated production of CAR-T therapies and other customized cell-based treatments. | © CSEM
To improve the accessibility of cellular therapies using automation, Limula has received support from the CSEM from the prototyping phase to the pre-industrialization of its technology.
Cell and gene therapy (CGT) is a rapidly growing field in the health sector. Thanks to these "living drugs", many patients suffering from incurable diseases can now have access to a treatment. However, the production of TCGs is very expensive and complex, which limits the number of doses available and makes them inaccessible to many patients. Lausanne-based start-up Limula is revolutionizing this field by introducing automation into TCG production.
The Vaud-based start-up is currently focusing on CAR-T cell therapy, which genetically modifies a patient's immune cells to fight cancer. Dr. Yann Pierson, Limula's CTO, has developed an automated platform for treating immune cells that requires no manual intervention. The platform consists of a small bioreactor integrated into an operating device, which can perform all steps of cell therapy production autonomously and sterilely.
Luc Henry, CEO of Limula, stated: "We want to offer a platform technology that supports a smooth transition from small-scale preclinical testing to large-scale manufacturing once approval is received. This will allow healthcare providers to safely produce more TCG treatment doses per square meter of clean room - and perhaps one day access decentralized production directly in hospitals."
A support from CSEM for the prototyping and the pre-industrialization phase
Limula received support from the Tools for Life Science department of the CSEM in Neuchâtel to develop their bioreactor and produce it on a large scale. This collaboration allowed the development of a pre-industrial solution that is now used to test the production of cell therapies.
The market for TCG production is growing rapidly, with more than 3 million patients potentially benefiting in the coming years. The automation of Limula's production offers great prospects for improving the accessibility and availability of personalized therapies for patients who need them.