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GlaxoSmithKline, Miltenyi Biotec to Collaborate on Cell and Gene Therapy

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GSK (NYSE: GSK) and Miltenyi Biotec today announced a strategic collaboration that will bring together GSK's expertise in developing cell and gene therapy based treatments with Miltenyi Biotec's global leadership in cell processing and related technologies in cell therapy. The collaboration seeks to optimise the manufacture and delivery of these personalised therapies using increased automation and leading edge processing technology.

GSK is building a cell and gene therapy R&D platform to underpin development of novel therapies in oncology and rare diseases – two of its core research areas. This reflects the company's belief in cell and gene therapy's potential as an important treatment approach for tackling the underlying cause of serious disease.

Through the collaboration, Miltenyi Biotec will engage with GSK to integrate greater automation and high-tech processing technology into GSK's current cell and gene therapy R&D manufacturing capabilities. The goal is to use this increased automation to further industrialise cell and gene therapy, overcoming the manufacturing and scale-up constraints associated with current, more manual cell and gene therapy processes. This could reduce the costs and geographical barriers associated with this treatment approach, speed development of therapies and support their potential beyond rare diseases and limited populations.

The collaboration will also bring together the technology and expertise of both companies to advance the discovery of new CAR (chimeric antigen-receptor) T-cell based therapeutics – cells that have been engineered to target and destroy cancer cells by strengthening a patient's natural T-cell response. GSK and Miltenyi Biotec will collaborate on defined CAR-T oncology targets and on the development of advancements in technologies in this space that may be further applied by both companies. This collaboration supplements GSK's existing CAR-T preclinical portfolio.

Patrick Vallance, President of Pharmaceuticals R&D at GSK, said: "Cell based gene therapies are living treatments, unique to individual patients and complex to manufacture. We see tremendous potential for the cell and gene therapy platform we are building within GSK, however the complexity of current manufacturing processes limits their use to local treatment of small patient populations. Working with Miltenyi Biotec, our vision is to transform current technology so that we can expand the possibilities for cell and gene therapy treatment to wider patient populations with broader geographical reach."

Stefan Miltenyi, President and CEO at Miltenyi Biotec, said: "For more than 20 years we have been developing and providing cell therapy solutions to patients worldwide. Working together with the global experts at GSK, we will accelerate innovation to broaden patient access to future personalised cell and gene therapy."

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