On the 30th and 31st of May, my colleague David Hodl and I will be attending the Phacilitate Automation SIG meetings in London. We will spend the two days in focused workshop sessions which, in the words of the organizing committee, are “designed to deliver a roadmap to cost-effective, robust and interconnected manufacturing and supply chain models.”
In the lead-up to this event, I thought it valuable to draw out some of the dominant themes from a recent Phacilitate automation webinar, What Must be Automated, and What Can’t be Automated in Cell-Based Therapy Bioprocessing. This webinar, chaired by David Hodl, was impressive for the collective experience in cell and bioprocessing that it brought to the panel, specifically:
- Dr. Vijay Chiruvolu, Vice President of Process Sciences & Engineering at Kite – A Gilead Company
- Dr. Nicholas Medcalf, Innovation Lead, Advanced Therapies at Innovate UK
- Dr. Qasim Rafiq, Associate Professor, Cell & Gene Therapy Bioprocessing, Department of Biochemical Engineering at University College London
- Dr. Valérie Steenwinckel, Director of Industrialisation at Celyad
Of the dominant themes discussed in the webinar, I thought they could be summarized as:
- Viability – Would you pay $12 for a loaf of bread?
- When you said automation, what did you really mean?
- What is the “rock and a hard place” dilemma facing cell therapy manufacturers?