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Cell & Gene Therapy Insights

Cell & Gene Therapy Insights

Optimizing the workflow for therapeutic viral vectors – upstream and downstream

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As an industry we can make viral vectors. Now it is time to refine processes to achieve the yield and quality needed to support research, development, and commercialization while controlling costs. Collectively, small changes in unit operations can have a big impact on developing a process that is efficient and scalable, yet flexible enough to adapt over time.

Watch this on demad webinar with Dr Spencer Hoover, Director of Process and Analytical Development – Centre for Advanced Therapeutic Cell Technologies, Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM), Dr Lesley Chan, Senior Scientist, Vector Process Development, Bluebird Bio and Francesca Bellintani, Downstream Process Development Manager, MolMed.


Dr Spencer Hoover, Director of Process and Analytical Development – Centre for Advanced Therapeutic Cell Technologies, Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM)

Spencer Hoover is the Director of Process and Analytical Development at CCRM and a member of the collaboration between CCRM and GEHC. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Virology, studying dengue, yellow fever and hepatitis C viruses. After postdoctoral training in metabolic engineering Spencer spent seven years in the molecular diagnostics industry developing multiplex FDA-cleared tests for viral and other pathogens in a GMP environment. Over the past three years at CCRM Spencer has helped to build the upstream and downstream viral vector manufacturing platforms as well as analytical development capabilities. Viral processes developed include stable producer and transient transfection production of LVV in suspension, animal component free and chemically defined media. The team has also built a closed, scalable LVV downstream process as well as a transient AAV suspension production process.



Dr Lesley Chan, Senior Scientist, Vector Process Development, bluebird bio

Dr. Lesley Chan is a Senior Scientist in Vector Process Development at bluebird bio. At bluebird bio, she is focused on developing and implementing lentiviral vector production processes to support their clinical and commercial programs. This includes the development of a next-generation lentiviral vector manufacturing platform using stable cell lines. Prior to joining bluebird bio, Lesley worked at CCRM as a development scientist, where she developed processes for the expansion of multipotent or pluripotent stem cells in stirred tank bioreactors. She holds a Ph.D. in Bioengineering from the National University of Singapore and an M.Sc. in Engineering Management from Tufts University.



Francesca Bellintani, Downstream Process Development Manager, Development Unit, MolMed

Francesca Bellintani is Downstream Process Development Manager at MolMed. Biologist by education, she holds a degree in Biology from University of Milan working on overproduction and purification of recombinant proteins and she specialised in Biochemistry, working on Phage display at Cambridge University. With a demonstrated history of working in the biotechnology industry, she joined MolMed in 2007 and worked in the Development Unit with growing responsibilities. She has strong operations expertise in the development of processes for the purification of proteins and retroviral/lentiviral vectors using chromatography and tangential flow filtration techniques. her role involves supervision of a multidisciplinary team of scientists on projects from development to early phase GMP manufacturing.

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