Innovative Cell Therapies
The Unit of Innovative Cell Therapies develops innovative cell and gene therapies mainly in pediatrics and oncology. In particular, the Unit focuses on adoptive immunotherapy, which consists in the development of therapeutic products based on the cells of the immune system of the patient (autologous products) or of healthy donors (allogeneic products), that are genetically modified with viral vectors to induce the expression of chimeric receptors (CARs) directed towards the antigens that are expressed on the membrane of neoplastic cells.
Following the collection of preclinical data on the efficacy of the new products, the Unit performs the technological transfer of the drug to the Pharmaceutical Workshop, that develops the GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice). Besides, the Unit is in charge of the continuous monitoring of the patients who have received advanced therapy medicinal products.
The activities of the Unit ensure the monitoring of the patient after the infusion of the cell and gene therapy medicinal product. As required by clinical protocols, it is necessary to study and carefully monitor the patients who received the drug, in order to verify the pharmacokinetics of the product, and to identify the biological markers that correlate with the response to the treatment or with the onset of specific toxicities.