A Rapid Cell Expansion Process for Production of Engineered Autologous CAR-T Cell Therapies

Tangying Lily Lu, Omar Pugach, Robert Somerville, Steven A. Rosenberg, James N. Kochenderfer, Marc Better, Steven A. Feldman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The treatment of B-cell malignancies by adoptive cell transfer (ACT) of anti-CD19 chimeric antigen receptor T cells (CD19 CAR-T) has proven to be a highly successful therapeutic modality in several clinical trials.1-6 The anti-CD19 CAR-T cell production method used to support initial trials relied on numerous manual, open process steps, human serum, and 10 days of cell culture to achieve a clinical dose.7 This approach limited the ability to support large multicenter clinical trials, as well as scale up for commercial cell production. Therefore, studies were completed to streamline and optimize the original National Cancer Institute production process by removing human serum from the process in order to minimize the risk of viral contamination, moving process steps from an open system to functionally closed system operations in order to minimize the risk of microbial contamination, and standardizing additional process steps in order to maximize process consistency. This study reports a procedure for generating CD19 CAR-T cells in 6 days, using a functionally closed manufacturing process and defined, serum-free medium. This method is able to produce CD19 CAR-T cells that are phenotypically and functionally indistinguishable from cells produced for clinical trials by the previously described production process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-218
Number of pages10
JournalHuman Gene Therapy Methods
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2016


  • GMP
  • anti-CD19 CAR
  • closed system
  • cryopreservation
  • expansion
  • transduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Genetics
  • Pharmacology
  • Genetics(clinical)


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