Dr. Michael Kallos
Associate Director of the Pharmaceutical Production Research Facility (PPRF) and Professor, University of Calgary
Scaling Up Cell Production for Clinical Trials
Wednesday, September 11, 9:00 AM – 9:30 AM
Equine mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are increasingly investigated for their clinical therapeutic utility. Such cell-based treatments can require cell numbers in the millions or billions, with conventional expansion methods using static T-flasks typically inefficient in achieving these cell numbers. Equine cord blood-derived MSCs (eCB-MSCs), are promising cell candidates owing to their capacity for chondrogenic differentiation and immunomodulation. Expansion of eCB-MSCs in stirred suspension bioreactors with microcarriers as an attachment surface has the potential to generate clinically relevant numbers of cells while decreasing cost, time and labor requirements and increasing reproducibility and yield when compared to static expansion. As eCB-MSCs have not yet been expanded in stirred suspension bioreactors, a robust protocol was required to expand these cells using this method. This study outlines the development of an expansion bioprocess, detailing the inoculation phase, expansion phase, and harvesting phase, followed by phenotypic and trilineage differentiation characterization of two eCB-MSC donors. When compared to cells grown in static T-flasks, bioreactor-expanded eCB-MSC cultures did not change in surface marker expression or trilineage differentiation capacity. This indicates that the bioreactor expansion process yields large quantities of eCB-MSCs with similar characteristics to conventionally grown eCB-MSCs.