Adapted from an interview with Phil Vanek. Joined-up thinking: success criteria for tomorrow’s viral vector production platforms. Cell Gene Therapy Insights 2018; 4(10), 873-877.
Demand fueled by clinical successes
The challenges and shortage of vector production reflect the fact that these materials and products are having such strong clinical success. Let’s celebrate the reason for this demand. To meet it, we need to industrialize and rethink how we transition from what has historically been carried out in translational clinical centers at smaller scale, using flasks and open systems, towards commercial production and methodologies.
Several areas must be addressed. First and foremost is the process itself: How can we improve efficiency in virus production? How can we change from planar surfaces, into 3D culture and suspension, to reach those higher scales that the clinical trials and commercial products will require?
And finally, like any other process, we need to look across the workflow and try to remove steps, complexity, and labor. At the same time, we must improve the use of materials, such as chemically defined media, produced under good manufacturing practices (GMP). Ultimately, we need to come up with cell lines that are highly efficient producers but also have the regulatory provenance that will be required.