CARAT Continues Its Journey in the Field of CAR T Cell Therapy

Having entered the final project year, the CARAT consortium gathered on 7-8 March, 2019 in Langen, Germany, for their 4th Progress Meeting. The meeting was hosted by Paul-Ehrlich-Institut, a German federal authority in the field of medicinal products and partner in CARAT.

While the project progress was assessed extensively by the partners during the 1.5 meeting days, they focussed on discussing how the excellent research of the individual partners will come together at the end of the project to paint the big picture of a platform that makes CAR T cell therapy more efficient, less expensive and available to an increasing number of patients.

During the meeting, Paul-Ehrlich-Institut organised two mini symposia on the topic of CAR T cell technology and its clinical application. Speakers included Claudia Rössig (Münster University, Germany) and Giapietro Dotti (University of North Carolina, USA), both members of the CARAT Scientific Advisory Board, as well as Michael Schmitt (Heidelberg University Hospital, Germany).

Although the CARAT project was not explicitly mentioned in these presentations, it became clear from the speakers' experience how CARAT can help practitioners to facilitate the application of CAR T cell therapies in the future. They also addressed shortcomings related to expensive, long and remote cell production processes and problems that will need to be solved in the future. In the subsequent discussions, it was mentioned that CARAT is specifically working on these limitations and that a platform solution located at central centres with short production cycles would be more than welcomed by the clinicians to make these promising CAR T cell therapies easily accessible in the future.