Working with business

Case studies

Developing manufacturing systems to enable large scale production of human stem cells for therapeutic use
Developing manufacturing systems to enable large scale production of human stem cells for therapeutic use
Developing manufacturing systems to enable large scale production of human stem cells for therapeutic use

Manufacture of human stem cells to improve health and quality of life

  • Developing manufacturing systems to enable large scale production of human stem cells for therapeutic use

Human stem cells are key to regenerative therapies that replace or regenerate diseased or injured cells, tissues and organs. Since 2003 Loughborough University has worked with industry and clinical partners to create future manufacturing systems to enable large scale production of human stem cells.

Drawing on Loughborough’s manufacturing, quality, process design and biological engineering expertise, an automated manufacturing system was developed with industrial partners which allowed the consistent automated culture of stem cells at the level of quality required for clinical and commercial therapeutic use. The success of this research has led to the manufacture and commercial sale of these machines across the world.

Impact

  • Creation of a new industry sector 

    By July 2013, 47 cutting-edge manufacturing systems worth £20.1m were sold, with considerable potential for more. As well as the obvious economic benefits of the commercial value of these sales, new jobs in the manufacture of the machines have been created.

  • Improving health and quality of life of patients 

    Considerable contribution to the development of cell-based therapies for blood replacement, stroke and degenerative diseases of the brain, leukaemia and other cancers, and tissue repair.

  • Development of manufacturing standards 

    Research has facilitated the successful transfer of Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) processes, essential for therapeutics, to the industrial environment. Loughborough Academics have also played a lead role in the development of three BSI Publicly Available Specifications (PAS) for regenerative medicine, likely to lead to ISO standards.