Expediting Time to Trial for a COVID-19 Respiratory Treatment

Cell Therapy at Meary Center for Cell & Gene Therapy at AP-HP

At the Meary Center for Cell and Gene Therapy in France, directed by Professor Jérôme Larghero, Dr. Guillaume Churlaud and his team are contributing to developing a treatment for COVID-19 patients that is in a clinical trial (since September 2020). For the development of this cell therapy, the team’s cell production expertise was essential.

Working with several teams within Assistance Publique – Hôpitaux de Paris (AP-HP), they aim to treat intubated-ventilated patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome caused by coronavirus (SARS Cov2). The treatment consists of three intravenous administrations of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs), repeated every 48 hours. They hope that this treatment will alleviate the patients’ respiratory symptoms and improve their medical state.

Challenges

“Since this clinical trial was set up so quickly, everything had to be done fast, including validation of the cell counting method for MSCs using the NucleoCounter® NC-200™”, says Dr. Guillaume Churlaud, when asked which challenges his team faced in this COVID-19 trial.

“Before, our cell counting and viability were determined by manual cell counting, using a counting chamber [hemacytometer] and trypan blue. The method was fast, but we saw variable data depending on the operator. We also used a flow cytometer, which was reproducible but a more time-consuming method.” Learn more about the team’s work at the Meary Center.

User Commentary

“The NucleoCounter® NC-200™ provides a fast, reproducible, and repeatable method of cell counting between operators. In our hands, we found that it was easy to use and we only needed a short training session on the device before we could start using it.

The pros of this automated cell counter are definitely the robust and fast data acquisition and having 21 CFR Part 11-compliant software. It is well worth the upgrade from manual cell counting as it expedites our path to the clinic for this treatment.”

Dr. Guillaume Churlaud, Meary Center for Cell and Gene Therapy

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