2D animation explaining the steps of the manufacturing process and the therapy using the patient’s own Tregs. The main character of the story is a woman suffering from multiple sclerosis, but a similar therapy can be used in the treatment of other inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, as well as for the prevention of organ transplant rejection.
TxCell – a French biotech company – has developed personalized cellular therapies using the patient’s own regulatory T-cells, or Tregs. In 2018 TxCell was acquired by the American Sangamo Therapeutics which continues pursuing this therapy, as well as other cell-based therapies.
The style of this animation is often referred to as a flat-vector style. It allows showing processes in a simplified way, as you can show the characters, the machines, the cells etc. all in one scene, without having to worry about realistic proportions of elements.
Tregs are naturally present in blood and their role is to control the immune system and reduce inflammation. For instance, this patient has multiple sclerosis – a disease of the central nervous system. TxCell’s approach is to design a personalized drug based on her own Treg cells.
At the hospital, leukapheresis is performed to harvest the patient’s white blood cells, which are then frozen and shipped to the manufacturing facility for processing. The cells are then thawed and regulatory T cells are isolated from the mix. We select only a specific subset of Treg cells which are very stable and display strong anti-inflammatory activity. The Treg cells are then modified to express an artificial receptor known as “CAR” which stands for Chimeric Antigen Receptor. These modified cells are known as CAR-Treg cells. The CAR-Treg cells are expanded, purified, and formulated with a cryo-preservative milieu. The CAR-Treg product is frozen, while a specific volume is put aside for quality control. The bulk of the production is stored in the manufacturing facility and a few vials of frozen products are then shipped back to the hospital. At the hospital, the drug is thawed before being injected intravenously into the patient’s body. Overall, this process takes approximately 3 to 4 weeks vein-to-vein.
Once inside the patient’s body, CAR-Treg cells naturally migrate to the brain and reduce the inflammation in a local and specific way.
Beyond multiple sclerosis, TxCell’s CAR-Treg products can be used for a wide range of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases as well as transplant rejection.
You can read more about Sangamo’s cell therapies here.