By J. Meneghel, Cytiva, P. Kilbride, Cytiva, S. Milne, Cytiva, S. Elliman, Orbsen Therapeutics, S. Curbishley, University of Birmingham, W. Shingleton, Cytiva
Administration of cell therapies, in clinical trials or as commercial products, involves complex logistics between sometimes numerous partners and sites, making timing critical. Cryopreservation affords extra time and flexibility, but also brings its own challenges. Cryogenic transportation of starting material or finished product is currently carried out in dry shippers that keep contents cold for a period of time using liquid nitrogen (LN2). If it appears difficult to predict with great confidence the cryogenic standby time offered by such devices, their fast warm-up profile and the requirement of dedicated infrastructure for their re-charge make it challenging to manage unforeseen events and delays during transit. The development of alternative cryogenic shipping devices that are more predictable and easier to prepare, can charge and re-charge during transit, and are hence LN2-free, is needed. To use such devices, a better understanding of the boundaries not to be crossed, in terms of transit time and temperature, to maintain cell integrity post-thaw is necessary and studied here. We also present the post-thaw cellular outcome following shipping of a cell therapy in an LN2-free device, the VIA Capsule™ system (Cytiva).