Thermo Fisher, Charles River join cell therapy automation consortium

Multiply Labs has recruited Thermo Fisher Scientific and Charles River Laboratories to join its manufacturing alliance looking to develop a robotic manufacturing system for cell therapy treatments.

Thermo Fisher and Charles River will join original members Cytiva and University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) in the quest to improve the cell manufacturing process to make it faster and more accessible for patients, according to Multiply Labs.

With UCSF and Cytiva focused on overseeing cell manufacturing processes and automating bioreactor technology, Thermo Fisher will work on automating incubator technology, hoping to have every step of the process run by cloud-controlled robotic systems. Charles River, headquartered in Massachusetts, will focus on quality control testing.

Multiply Labs, who announced the original effort in May 2021, is coordinating the robotics effort.

“This unprecedented alliance brings together the global leaders in cell therapy manufacturing technologies, with the common goal of pioneering the deployment of robotic technology and achieving truly industrial scale,” said Fred Parietti, co-founder and CEO of Multiply Labs.

The goal of the collaboration is to fully automate the cell therapy manufacturing process, according to Multiply Labs. Cell therapy production is a highly technical process that needs highly skilled labor and hours of cell manipulation, which makes therapies expensive and hard to mass produce.

The consortium hopes the robotic manufacturing process will change that.