Kite to Assess Cellares’ Automated Manufacturing Platform


Following the evaluation, the company will decide whether it wants to move forward with the IDMO’s automated, end-to-end, cell therapy manufacturing platform.

Cellares' Cell Shuttle. Image Credit: Cellares

Cellares' Cell Shuttle. Image Credit: Cellares

Cellares, an integrated development and manufacturing organization (IDMO) that focuses on clinical and industrial-scale cell therapy manufacturing, recently revealed that Kite, a Gilead company, will be assessing its automated manufacturing platform, the Cell Shuttle.1

During this “proof-of-concept” evaluation, the data that is gathered will help Kite in determining the Cell Shuttle’s capabilities as a valid manufacturing choice.

“This agreement with Kite allows the unique capabilities of our Cell Shuttle platform to be potentially utilized by Kite in the future, and reinforces Cellares’ position as a cell therapy manufacturer with advanced automated technology,” said Fabian Gerlinghaus, CEO and co-founder of Cellares. “We aim to fully automate all cell therapy manufacturing processes, moving us closer to delivering CAR T-cell therapies for a wide range of autoimmune diseases and cancers. We are honored to work with an industry leader such as Kite, that already is serving patients worldwide with two commercially approved cell therapies.”

In terms of available technologies, Kite notes that it is always keeping its options open for the latest ways to provide CAR-T therapies.

“Given that manufacturing is central to how we deliver CAR T-cell therapies to physicians and patients, we are always assessing what technologies could further enhance our best-in-class manufacturing capabilities,” commented Chris McDonald, Kite’s SVP and global head of technical operations. “We welcome this opportunity to evaluate Cellares’ automation production platform for how it potentially could help us reach even more patients with our next-generation therapies.”

This news comes off the heels of the IDMO and Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS) reaching a $380-million capacity reservation and supply agreement for the manufacture of CAR T-cell therapies.2

Per the deal, Cellares will automate, enhance, and tech-transfer select BMS’ CAR T-cell therapies onto the Cell Shuttle. Cellares will utilize multiple Cell Shuttle and Cell Q systems with fully automated, high-throughput quality control for exclusive use by BMS. The Cell Shuttles and Cell Qs will be installed in Cellares’ smart factories in the United States, European Union, and Japan.

“The agreement with Cellares is our latest step forward in support of our comprehensive strategy to unlock the full potential of CAR-T therapy to deliver transformative treatments to as many patients as possible, as quickly as possible,” explained Lynelle B. Hoch, president, cell therapy organization, BMS. “Our collaboration with Cellares strengthens our existing internal manufacturing capabilities for CAR T-cell therapies by giving us access to the first end-to-end fully automated cell therapy manufacturing platform, to help ensure we meet the high demand for these differentiated treatments, now and in the future.”

Gerlinghaus added that the deal lines up with the company’s vision in growing the cell therapy sector, saying that “This agreement with Bristol Myers Squibb is aligned with our strategy of establishing a global network of high-throughput, automated smart factories to meet the growing and worldwide demand for cell therapies. We look forward to demonstrating how our innovative technology’s emphasis on standardization will accelerate commercial-scale manufacturing and worldwide deployment. Our collaboration with Bristol Myers Squibb and our collective expertise furthers our mission to accelerate access to life-saving cell therapies for patients globally.”


1. Cellares Announces Agreement with Kite to Evaluate Its Cell Shuttle Automated Manufacturing Platform. Cellares. June 27, 2024. Accessed July 1, 2024.

2. Bristol Myers Squibb and Cellares Announce a $380M Worldwide Capacity Reservation and Supply Agreement for the Manufacture of CAR T Cell Therapies to Bring the Promise of Cell Therapy to More Patients, Faster. Cellares. April 22, 2024. Accessed July 1, 2024.

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