Biotechnology firm Athersys has entered a strategic collaboration to use clinical automation technologies developer MedCision's cell thawing system ThawSTAR in clinical trials.
During the first stage of the partnership, Athersys used the ThawSTAR AT6 Transport and Thawing system for 6ml AT-Closed Vial in its Phase II trial of MultiStem cell therapy to treat patients with non-ST elevation acute myocardial infarction (NSTEMI).
Introduced recently, the system employs an adaptive algorithm that is specific to each cell therapy product.
Athersys used the method to de-risk the cell thawing process and for cell efficacy optimisation.
The company's chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) Gil Van Bokkelen said: “The use of the ThawSTAR cell thawing system allows us to remove variability and subjectivity associated with traditional methods.
“Together, our companies plan to implement a novel solution for use in future trials, including automated thawing of larger-volume vials for indications where IV delivery is appropriate.”
MedCision’s cell thawing technology is designed to address the biophysical challenges such as thermal gradients, varying intra-vessel phase states and osmotic imbalances.
The algorithm is the latest ThawSTAR thawing system that understands the effect of cell size, volume and cryopreservative choice on the thawing rate, and customises thaw for each fill volume to ensure consistent and reproducible endpoints.
The system provides an option for direct insertion of vials from liquid nitrogen storage at below -150°C or dry ice/ultra-low freezer storage at -80°C.