NEW YORK – Indee Labs on Wednesday announced it has received a $2 million contract from the National Cancer Institute, which it will put toward scaling up its technology for developing and manufacturing cell therapies.
The technology, dubbed Hydropore, is designed to allow for single-step, non-viral intracellular delivery in the cell therapy manufacturing process. With the new NCI funding, Indee Labs will continue developing Hydropore as a platform to process gene-edited CAR T-cell therapies using both adeno-associated virus and DNA for knock-ins. The Phase II contract will allow the firm to evaluate the technology for leukapheresis-scale processing.
According to Indee Labs, in vitro studies have already demonstrated that using its technology can improve CAR T-cell function versus standard electroporation-based CAR T-cell modification. The new NCI contract allows the firm, in collaboration with experts at University of California, San Francisco, to evaluate whether Hydropore-based development improves CAR T-cell function and efficacy in in vivo models, too.
Berkeley, California-based Indee Labs claims that the Hydropore platform, which processes tens of millions of cells in seconds with one microfluidic chip, can increase the yield and function of modified immune cells versus standard cell therapy processing. The platform can be used with CAR T-cell processing or processing similar modified immune cells like genome-edited regulatory T cells and NK cells, "without the need for multiple instruments to go from small to medium-scale processing," the firm says.