The cell processing center operates advanced cell therapy

The compact CPC (Cell Processing Center) is comprised of five preparation rooms for advanced cell therapy and regenerative therapy to fulfill patient requirements.

The cell processing center operates advanced cell therapy

Image Credit: PHC Europe B.V.

As a pioneer that initiated the CPC facility, the Blood Infusion and Cell Therapy Center in Tokyo, Medical and Dental University, Medical Hospital is working on cell therapy, blood infusion, and regenerative therapy to aid and regenerate dysfunctional organs and tissues.

The university founded the Cell Processing Center (CPC) in 2002 for cell therapy and regenerative therapy. The pioneering facility at the time that initiated CPC was fixed by Professor Tomohiro Morio, a former chief of the center. The center consisted of one depressurized room and three cell preparation rooms in a space of 100 m2, which was developed and built by Sanyo Electric, the PHCbi predecessor.

Following this, CPCs were needed to correspond to the structural design standards described in the Act to Ensure the Safety of Regenerative Medicine, which was fixed in 2013. With the beginning of various research and clinical trial projects regarding regenerative therapy and cell therapy within the university, the building of a new CPC was scheduled.

The novel CPC was developed and built by Panasonic Healthcare, also the predecessor of PHCbi which had engineered and constructed the early center. This continues the good relationship from the Sanyo Electric days with outstanding assistance for feasible malfunctions that were rated very highly.

The new CPC finished in 2014 consists of all five cell preparation rooms in the same 100 m2 space, obtaining a small and highly productive work surrounding. Reducing cross-contamination risk via the definition of movement lines and rooms developed with a chamber pressure variation of 15 Pa are also significant features.

At present, in the five cell preparation rooms, there are five projects related to the below research, clinical trials and therapies. 

The cell processing center operates advanced cell therapy

Image Credit: PHC Europe B.V.

Cell preparation room 1 (Regenerative Therapy Research Center/Gastrointestinal Department)

Digestive tract regenerative therapy is being developed here. A small tissue sample is taken from patients suffering from inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease), using an endoscope to increase the stem cells included in the tissue as intestinal epithelial organoid outside the body. After this step, the material is transplanted into a hard-to-treat ulcer using an endoscope again for.

Mamoru Watanabe, Professor and Chief Researcher, Tokyo Medical and Dental University

Cell preparation room 2 (Blood Infusion & Cell therapy Center/Blood Infusion Center)

Unrelated hematopoietic stem cell transplantation through the bone marrow bank and cord blood bank was developed by the Neurology and Pediatric Departments. In order for transplantation to be conducted with minimal risk to patients and donors, research on extracting and preserving cells and post-transplantation complications is conducted to enable clinical applications.”

Michiko Kajiwara, Assistant Center Chief, Tokyo Medical and Dental University

Cell preparation room 3 (Immune Therapeutics)

Therapeutic vaccine for adult T-cell leukemia (ATL) is developed here. ATL is a poor prognosis malignant tumor caused by the human T-cell leukemia virus type I. It has been found that the cell disorder T cell (CTL) to virus has an anti-tumor effect. Clinical trials of dendritic cell vaccine using tax peptide as antigen are conducted at the identified CTL epitopes site.”

Mari Kannagi, Professor and Researcher/Developer, Tokyo Medical and Dental University

Cell preparation room 4 (Pediatrics)

Multiple virus-specific T-cell therapy for treatmentresistant infections is developed here. Until immunological reconstruction is achieved following a hematopoietic cell transplantation, patients lapse into an immunodeficiency state and tend to become infected by virus-related infections such as adenovirus, BK virus, EB virus, cytomegalovirus, human herpes virus type 6, and others.

Since effective treatments are not available and in many cases the infections tend to become severe, clinical trials have started with safer cultures using multiple virus-specific T-cell production within a period of 2 weeks for the five virus types above.”

Tomohiro Morio, Professor and Chief Researcher, Tokyo Medical and Dental University

The cell processing center operates advanced cell therapy

Image Credit: PHC Europe B.V.

Cell preparation room 5 (Regenerative Therapy Research Center/ Orthopedics)

Physician-led clinical trials are conducted to preserve the meniscus through meniscal repair to the meniscal damage that requires meniscus removal and transplanting synovium-derived stem cells. In addition, clinical research is conducted to investigate whether knee osteoarthritis deterioration can be controlled by injecting the joint with synovial cells on a regular basis.”

Ichiro Sekiya, Professor and Chief Researcher, Tokyo Medical and Dental University

Introducing highly reliable, safe devices to handle the precious cells of patients

The biosafety cabinets and pharmaceutical refrigerators utilized in the five cell preparation rooms and ultra-low temperature freezers (−150 °C/ −80 °C) used in the cell refrigeration or preservation rooms and supply rooms are also PHCbi products.

Such products exhibit an outstanding acknowledgement among project personnel as they are simple to use without requiring hard manuals or complicated operations. Ultra-low temperature freezers make use of the so-called “dual cooling system” and integrate two compressors to remove malfunction risk.

Device malfunctioning can destroy precious cells used in treating patients and compromise research and clinical trial results. The word “sample” may sound somewhat casual, but samples are valuable assets and very important to patients and us. The cell therapy and regenerative therapy we have been working on is a ray of hope to patients. Physicians and researchers are therefore strongly motivated to achieve success in their tasks. They require maximum reliability and safety for the devices they relay on to store cells.”

Preparing an environment that allows researchers to concentrate on research through the use of monitoring systems and cameras

To obtain steady functioning of not just a single device but also the complete CPC as well, the facility seems to be completely furnished with tracking systems and surveillance camera systems. Without careful attention, it is not possible to eliminate the risk of contamination completely.

To reduce risk, the room pressure, cleanliness, and temperature in the preparation room, as well as the chamber temperature and error status of all devices in the facility connected via a cable to the interface board, are tracked 24/7, and work conditions are also photographed.

The tracking system instantly produces an alarm when an abnormality occurs and transmits an email to the person in charge.

There had been a case where the CO2 incubator door was not closed completely and allowed the temperature to decrease. I was notified of the error by alarm, and entered the room to securely close the door and so prevented a serious problem.”

About PHC Europe B.V.

Founded in 1990 as subsidiary of the PHC Holdings Corporation, it is our mission to become a leading, trusted brand for sustainable healthcare and biomedical product solutions, which support the work of our customers to improve the health and well-being of people around the world.

For more than 25 years now, we respond to the needs of our pharmaceutical, biotechnology, hospital/clinical and industrial customers, offering an unique perspective on scientific research in general. As a result we play a critical role in product development for worldwide applications and have established a reputation as a manufacturer of high-quality and innovative medical and laboratory equipment.

Long lasting relationships have been built with leading pharmaceutical, healthcare and biotechnology companies as well as with major academic and research institutes in Europe. PHC Europe B.V. has set the standard in many aspects. V.I.P. panels, Cool Safe compressors, Active Background Contamination Control and the world’s first -152 °C ULT freezer. Where PHC Europe B.V. took the initiative, the others followed. This made us a very important player in both the ultra-low temperature and the CO2 market.


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Last updated: Dec 14, 2022 at 11:10 AM

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