More kaizen for cell and gene therapy
by Amy DuRoss | November 6, 2019
Today, Vineti is excited to announce a new partnership with a global contract manufacturing company serving cell and gene therapies -- and not just because this represents growth for our company. We're excited because this alignment, and other partnerships like it, represents another step towards true kaizen for personalized therapeutics.
The science behind cell therapies, gene therapies, and personalized cancer vaccines is remarkable in its truly individualized focus -- its ability to harness a single person’s cells or tissues and transform them into a powerful therapeutic. But to make these deeply individualized treatments for cancer and rare genetic disorders widely accessible, we need to supercharge “personalized” with “industrialized.”
If these therapeutics can’t reach large numbers of patients, safely and cost-effectively, then the promise of the science falls flat. An integrated ecosystem is critical to patient access.
As I noted in a blog post earlier this year, Siddhartha Mukherjee of the New Yorker said it best in his article “ The Promise and Price of Cellular Therapies”. Industrialization will require kaizen, a Japanese term for the continuous improvement of a production process. And because the manufacturing process for cell and gene therapies involves dozens of stakeholders and facilities, kaizen will mean integrations that bring all the parties together on behalf of the patient, standardize cell therapy manufacturing processes, and reduce cost. As Mukherjee observed about his medical education,
"Nowhere in these lessons did I encounter the Japanese term kaizen—the continuous improvement of a manufacturing process to its leanest, most efficient form. It would have been a worthwhile lesson. Engineers in the world of industrial manufacturing obsess about this. But as doctors, as medical scientists and inventors, we are taught to think about curing deadly diseases or about creating new systems of care. We want to battle the mortal coil, not the plastic coil. We want to close the gaps in access to medical care, not the gaps between hooks in the operating room. We give priority to proofs of principle, not to the particularities of production. Yet, if the newest generations of therapies are to succeed at scale, it may be the small skirmishes that determine the outcome of the larger war. For cellular therapy to reach the masses, its innovators cannot ignore the most trivial-seeming details of the human and material factors of the manufacturing process. Perhaps we need a change in our culture, or even in our vocabulary….The new generation of medical care will be enabled by the ceaseless demands of kaizen."
Vineti is working with partners every day to help drive kaizen for cell and gene therapy. In addition to today’s announcement, you can find more of our partners on our website. To learn more about our software platform, please download our Data Sheet. Thank you!
Amy DuRoss is the CEO and Co-founder of Vineti. If you’d like to learn more about how Vineti’s Personalized Therapy Management (PTM) is helping to standardize and industrialize workflows for personalized therapies, please contact us.