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477 Industrialization of an Academic Miltenyi Prodigy-Based CAR T Process

Program: Oral and Poster Abstracts
Type: Oral
Session: 711. Cell Collection and Processing: Advances in Mobilization, Collection, Manipulation and Engineering of HSCs and T Cells
Hematology Disease Topics & Pathways:
Lymphoid Leukemias, Biological, ALL, Clinical Trials, Translational Research, Clinical Research, Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR)-T Cell Therapies, Cell Expansion, Diseases, Therapies, Lymphoid Malignancies, Technology and Procedures
Sunday, December 12, 2021: 12:30 PM

Abigail Culshaw1*, Frederick Arce Vargas2*, Gerardo Santiago Toledo2*, Claire Roddie, PhD, MD3*, Paul Shaughnessy, MD4, Virginie Cerec, PhD5*, Kevin Duffy2*, Serena Perna, MD6*, Wolfram Brugger2, Michael Merges2* and Martin Pule5,7*

1Autolus Ltd., London, ENG, United Kingdom
2Autolus Ltd., London, United Kingdom
3Department of Haematology, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, London, United Kingdom
4Texas Transplant Institute at Methodist Hospital, San Antonio, TX
5Autolus Ltd, London, United Kingdom
6Autolus Ltd., Rockville, MD
7Department of Haematology, University College London, London, United Kingdom


We have previously described AUTO1, a CD19 CAR with a fast off-rate binding domain, designed to reduce CAR T-cell immune toxicity and improve engraftment. Clinical testing in two academic studies in relapsed/refractory (r/r) paediatric [NCT02443831; CARPALL] and adult B-ALL, B-NHL and B-CLL [NCT02935257; ALLCAR19] confirmed the intended function of the receptor, with low levels of cytokine release syndrome (CRS) and immune effector cell-associated neurotoxicity syndrome (ICANS) and long-term engraftment of CAR T-cells1,2. Based on data in adult B-ALL, we initiated a phase Ib/II registration study in r/r adult B-ALL [NCT04404660; FELIX]. To facilitate this study and future commercialization, industrialization of the manufacturing process was required.


The original process in the academic studies was based on the Miltenyi CliniMACS Prodigy T cell transduction process. Leukapheresis was performed at the same site as manufacture. T cells were isolated from pheresis by CD4/CD8 positive selection and seeded onto the Prodigy to be activated using the Miltenyi CD3/CD28 targeting activating reagent, TransAct. The following day, transduction was carried out using a lentiviral vector. Cells were cryopreserved after an expansion phase of up to day 10 of the process.

To facilitate industrialization of the AUTO1 manufacture in the multi-center, multi-regional FELIX study, we first explored the use of cryopreserved pheresis (81.3% median viability pre-selection (range 71.9 – 94.3), 1.0 days median doubling time (range 0.9 – 1.5) and 47.6% median CD19 CAR expression (range 19.1-62.1)). We concluded that optimal manufacture includes the use of fresh pheresis and the initiation of manufacture within 72 hours (99.0% median viability pre-selection (range 92.5 – 99.7), 1.3 days median doubling time (range 1.1 – 2.1) and 69.3% median CD19 CAR expression (range 22.9-86.2)).

To further simplify the process, we explored removal of the pre-selection step. Full-scale runs using starting material from 4 healthy donors were conducted to compare CD4/CD8 selected with unselected cells. On the day following activation, selected cells displayed a higher percentage of viable cells, defined as cPARP-FVS780- (median: 76.1%, range: 84.5-66.4) as compared to unselected cells (median: 52.2%, range: 43.6-59.0). In addition, selected cells demonstrated a median of 23-fold expansion (range: 20.0 - 29.1) compared to a 13.3-fold expansion for unselected cells (range 6.1-17.4). Median transduction efficiencies of viable CAR+ T-cells were 53.9% (range: 43.2-56.9) and 78.0% (range: 64.5-81.1) in selected and unselected cells, respectively. CD4/8 pre-selection was determined to be a critical part of the process.

A comparison of phenotype between 18 batches manufactured using the academic process and 5 batches produced from fresh material using the industrial process was carried out. No significant differences, as determined by 2-way ANOVA, were observed between the percentage of CAR+ CD3+ cells, the memory phenotype (% TSC/naive, % TCM, % TEM and % TEMRA) and the percentage expression of PD1 (figure 1). The CD4/CD8 ratio was also comparable between products of the two processes.

Data from the initial 6 fresh in patients show that engraftment in the FELIX study is consistent with ALLCAR19 engraftment results. Additional patients, updated clinical data and longer follow-up will be presented at the conference.


Industrialization of an autologous Miltenyi CAR T process is feasible, leading to a comparable product to that manufactured in an academic setting. We have now opened the pivotal multi-center phase II part of the FELIX study in r/r adult B-ALL patients.


  1. Ghorashian S et al. (2019) Enhanced CAR T cell expansion and prolonged persistence in pediatric patients with ALL treated with a low-affinity CD19 CAR. Nat Med, 25(9):1408-1414.
  2. Roddie C et al. (2021) Durable responses and low toxicity after fast off-rate CD19 CAR-T therapy in adults with relapsed/ refractory B-ALL. J Clin Oncol, in press.

Figure 1. Comparison of phenotype between 18 CAR T cell batches manufactured using the academic process and 5 batches produced using the industrial process. Boxes represent median, 25th and 75th percentiles and whiskers represent minimum and maximum.

Disclosures: Culshaw: Autolus Ltd.: Current Employment. Arce Vargas: Autolus Ltd.: Current Employment. Santiago Toledo: Autolus Ltd.: Current Employment. Roddie: Novartis: Consultancy; Celgene: Consultancy, Speakers Bureau; Gilead: Consultancy, Speakers Bureau. Shaughnessy: BMS: Honoraria, Speakers Bureau; Sanofi: Honoraria, Speakers Bureau; Kite: Honoraria, Speakers Bureau. Cerec: Autolus Ltd.: Current Employment. Duffy: Autolus Ltd.: Current Employment. Perna: Autolus Ltd.: Current Employment. Brugger: Autolus Ltd.: Current Employment. Merges: Autolus Ltd.: Current Employment. Pule: Autolus Ltd: Current Employment.

*signifies non-member of ASH