Dr. Ghobadi on Ways of Reducing the Cost of CAR T-Cell Therapy

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Armin Ghobadi, MD, assistant professor of medicine, Division of Medical Oncology, Washington University School of Medicine, Siteman Cancer Center, discusses ways of reducing the cost of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy.

Armin Ghobadi, MD, assistant professor of medicine, Division of Medical Oncology, Washington University School of Medicine, Siteman Cancer Center, discusses ways of reducing the cost of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy.

Reducing the cost of CAR T-cell therapy will depend on several factors, one of which will be the manufacturing process. One of the main drivers of cost is vector production for the transduction of T cells, says Ghobadi. That cost is most likely going to drop significantly in the coming years. When human-genome sequencing was first introduced, it cost around $3 billion to do whole-genome sequencing. Now, it can be done anywhere from $1000 to $5000.

The improvement in technology is also likely to play a role in improving vector production. As vector production gets better, the cost of production will likely be reduced. Additionally, competition is always a driver in cost reduction, explains Ghobadi. Moreover, the development of off-the-shelf CAR cells will enable physicians to make CAR T cells for many patients with 1 donor, enabling greater access and ease of production with these products.

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