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Company’s rebranded platform, Ocellos, will manage complex handoffs in cell and gene therapy (CGT) treatments and trials
TrakCel, a software company that is a leader in the number of cell and gene therapy (CGT) trials and commercializations it facilitates, is moving from a home-grown cloud application to the SalesForce.com platform, via the latter’s AppExchange. Henceforth, TrakCel’s cellular orchestration software known as “T1” will be known as OCELLOS by TrakCel. For IT managers at CGT manufacturers and contract service providers, the move means easy integration with the enterprise-level hosting, security, data availability and third-party tools that the cloud-based SalesForce.com platform provides.
Coincidentally, the company has also just announced a new funding round, with an undisclosed amount of support led by AmerisourceBergen and LabCorp.
TrakCel operates in a specialized area of pharma development and supply-chain management: the relatively new therapies based on (among other things) autologous or allogeneic cellular and genetic therapies. Unlike most other pharmaceutical products, these therapies begin with cells harvested from patients themselves. The cells are then genetically manipulated and returned to the patient. Coordinating (or, in TrakCel’s preferred term, “orchestrating”) the activities of the hospital where a patient is taken in, the apheresis center where cells are harvested, the manufacturer that performs the cellular manipulation, and the return process for re-infusion and follow-up is complex. For autologous therapies, it is essential that the cells are properly tracked to and from the patient under a strict timetable.
Debra Susarchick, chief product officer (and a former executive at Kite Pharma, one of the pioneering CGT firms), says that eventually, all its clients will be migrated to OCELLOS by TrakCel. As an OEM Salesforce partner, TrakCel will help install the necessary SalesForce.com client instance, and however many of the modules of the OCELLOS by TrakCel solution are needed to enable a client business process.
“In most cases, the pharmaceutical manufacturer will be the OCELLOS by TrakCel sponsor, and then [you] bring in the contract manufacturers, medical centers, courier services and patient support systems involved in the patient journey," she says. “In others, the contract manufacturer, the medical center or the patient-support/hub provider will be the originating provider.” Data sharing along the patient journey is key; eventually, she says, a patient portal to OCELLOS by TrakCel will also become available for the patients themselves, “who might want to know where their cells are as they are navigating through their own treatment journey.”
The CGT field continues to generate intense investment and clinical trial activity (the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine counts over 1,000 clinical trials going on worldwide), but the flow of commercialized products is still a trickle. The company notes that its tools can be utilized by researchers using related technologies such as CRISPR, infiltrating lymphocyte therapies and personalized cancer vaccines.