Lonza, Sheba Medical Center Leverage Cocoon Platform for Cell Therapy


Customizable, patient-scale cell therapy platform aims to streamline manufacturing to improve process efficiency and reliability.

Sheba Medical Center, the largest hospital in the Middle East region, and Lonza, a global cell and gene therapy manufacturer, have treated multiple patients with CD19 CAR-T cell immunotherapy targeting B-cell malignancies, with three patients showing complete responses, and another patient is still being evaluated.
All patients were dosed with therapies manufactured in Lonza’s Cocoon Platform, an automated, customizable, patient-scale cell therapy platform that streamlines manufacturing to improve process efficiency and reliability.
Eytan Abraham Ph.D, Head of Personalized Medicine, Lonza, said, “We have been successfully manufacturing Sheba’s CD19 CAR-T therapy in the Cocoon® Platform and observing positive clinical outcomes, which is exciting and promising. We are proving that the Cocoon® Platform can be used to replace open, manual manufacturing processes which are in most cases expensive and difficult to scale. The Cocoon® Platform is showing significant advantages when used for centralized, decentralized, and point-of-care manufacturing. We continue to gain traction in the market, with the aim of revolutionizing the production of patient-scale cell therapy and making these lifesaving therapies available to more patients in need.”
Professor Dror Harats, Deputy Director for Research and Development and Acting Director for Clinical Trials, Sheba Medical Center, added, “This unique effort initiated between a leading biotechnology company and Sheba is a prime example of how we are dealing with today's and tomorrow's medicine. The collaborative relationship between innovative medical technologies and medicine enables leading hospitals such as Sheba to create breakthrough personalized medical treatments that are amongst the best within the world of biomed.”
The collaboration announced in 2019, aims to translate Sheba’s manual process to the Cocoon Platform. The process aims to decrease manufacturing costs, reduce footprint, lower the risk of manufacturing failures and minimize turnaround time. Sheba’s process was successfully translated into the Cocoon Platform in 2020, with the first patient dosed with CD19 CAR-T cell immunotherapy during the 2H20, following a successful clinical comparability study.
The data demonstrates the Cocoon Platform’s flexibility and capability to manufacture immunotherapies, compared with manual processes. Lonza and Sheba Medical Center plan to dose additional patients using the manufacturing platform.