01 February 2023 | Wednesday | Influencers
Dr. Ray Chen is president of the Life Science Group at GenScript
GenScript is committed to advancing non-viral gene and cell therapy development by providing cGMP materials that meet our partners’ demanding timelines. We achieve this by building world-class facilities and expert teams, and by maintaining an unwavering focus on service quality and on-schedule project delivery.
We are currently expanding our cGMP sgRNA and non-viral DNA payload production capacity to maintain minimal project wait time. GenScript’s new 400,000-sq.-ft. cGMP facility in Zhenjiang, China is scheduled to open in 2023.
In the near term, the APAC gene and cell therapy market is expected to experience significant growth — more than 40% through 2026 — which is faster than other major regions such as the US and Europe (BCC Research, Global Cell and Gene Therapy Market report, 2022). So, support for the APAC market is a high priority for GenScript. Although we observed the rapid rise of non-viral based GCT research in APAC (mainly in China), viral-based approaches are still the dominant technology across most of the region. Most of the biopharma companies in APAC have, or are establishing, a complete workflow for producing GMP-grade viral vectors for GCT purposes.
GenScript is pursuing several strategies to promote the non-viral-based GCT technology:
Our customers are currently using CRISPR-based editing to develop potent and specific immuno-oncology cell therapies (CAR-T, NK, TCR) to treat various cancers, including T- and B-cell malignancies, multiple myeloma, melanoma, acute myeloid leukemia (AML), non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), esophageal cancer, gastrointestinal cancer, and more.
Non-viral CRISPR-based approaches are also being employed to develop novel gene therapies to treat a diverse range of single-gene disorders, including hemoglobinopathies, inherited eye disease, muscular genetic disease, genetic liver or lung disease, genetic deafness, and more.
We aim to help accelerate the development of these therapies from research to clinic by providing high-quality cGMP sgRNA, Cas9 nuclease, and non-viral DNA payloads (ssDNA/dsDNA/circular minimized dsDNA) with fast turnaround time.
While GenScript can support both viral and non-viral methodologies, the non-viral approach is growing much faster due to safety concerns with viral methods. An effort is, however, required to penetrate the APAC market. In contract to the United States and the European Union, GCT research using CRISPR is still relatively new in the APAC market. Although we do see a few biopharma and biotech companies beginning to explore the potential of CRISPR for GCT purposes, researchers are still taking a wait-and-see attitude because of several challenges:
Dr. Ray Chen is president of the Life Science Group at GenScript, the world’s top enabling platform that serves science by providing innovative, reliable, high-quality reagents and instruments. Prior to GenScript, he worked in product design in the Fabric & Home Care business unit at Procter & Gamble. Dr. Chen studied peptide chemistry at the Dr. Richard DiMarchi lab and earned his PhD in chemistry from Indiana University Bloomington, and a BS in chemistry from Nanjing University. Connect with Ray on LinkedIn.