The Fantastic Voyage of CAR T Cells

Stories@Gilead - February 14, 2020

Imagine engineering a patient’s own white blood cells to fight cancer. Just a few years ago, this would have sounded like science fiction. Not anymore.

Today this is known as chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy, a process that trains a patient’s immune system to recognize, attack and destroy certain types of cancer. Kite’s cell therapy specialists conduct a transformative genetic engineering process that has the ability to change the way cancer is treated.

“Unlike the traditional mass production, make-to-stock manufacturing of pharmaceutical and biotechnology products, CAR T therapies are patient specific,” says Chuck Calderaro, Kite’s Global Head of Technical Operations. “We’re turning each patient’s T cells into cancer-killing T cells to fight the cancer. It is one of the most definitive forms of personalized medicine.”

CAR T is a multistep process that is rigorously controlled and requires highly trained cell therapy specialists at dedicated manufacturing facilities. Learn more about this fantastic voyage:

Throughout the process, speed and efficiency are critical. Kite has a median 16-day turnaround time in the United States – something that would not be possible without state-of-the-art manufacturing and supply capabilities. The team at Kite recognizes this urgency and works hard every day to ensure that each step of the journey is executed with incredible precision and care.

“This precision will empower us to bring this innovative treatment approach to as many appropriate people with certain types of blood cancers as possible,” says Kite CEO Christi Shaw. “Our teams remain focused on executing our strategy to bring potentially life-saving therapies to patients.”

PHOTO: A cell therapy specialist transfers CAR T materials at Kite’s manufacturing facility in El Segundo, California