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CTS™ immune cell SR for serum free culture and expansion of human T cells
  1. Grethe Okern1,
  2. Angel Varela-Rohena2,
  3. Sandra Kuligowski2,
  4. Brian Newsom3 and
  5. Tanja Aarvak1
  1. Aff1 grid.458319.20000000405495778Thermo Fisher Scientific Oslo Norway
  2. Aff2 grid.418190.50000 0001 2187 0556Thermo Fisher Scientific Grand Island NY USA
  3. Aff3 grid.418190.50000 0001 2187 0556Thermo Fisher Scientific Frederick MD USA

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Meeting abstracts


The manufacture of a majority of clinical T cell products for immunotherapy applications requires in vitro T cell culture and expansion. Commercialization of T cell manufacturing processes requires reagents that meet regulatory guidelines and ultimately help reduce manufacturing cost of goods. A key component in many T cell culture protocols is human serum, which is expensive and requires extensive testing prior to use for the manufacture of cGMP-compliant T cell therapies. To this end, we have developed a xeno-free serum replacement, CTS™ Immune Cell SR, with defined components that can be used in combination with multiple cell culture media to support in vitro expansion of functionally intact T cells.


T cells activated and expanded with Dynabeads® CD3/CD28 CTSTM and cultured in CTS™ OpTmizer T cell Expansion SFM, X-VivoTM 15, or CTS™AIM-V® supplemented with pooled human serum or serum free CTS™ Immune Cell SR showed similar growth kinetics, total fold expansion and transduction efficiency after 2 weeks in culture. Numbers of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells were comparable in cultures expanded with media containing human serum or CTS™ Immune Cell SR. T cells demonstrated efficacy when infused in an in vivo leukemia mouse model. T cell engraftment and leukemia control were similar between mice treated with T cells grown in media containing human serum or CTS™ Immune Cell SR.


These studies demonstrate that human serum may be replaced by a xeno-free formulation in combination with several commonly used T cell culture media to support in vitro expansion and lentiviral transduction of polyclonal T cells. Culturing T cells in CTS™ Immune Cell SR facilitates a favorable culture profile and immune function. Serum free CTS™ Immune Cell SR contains only fully tested human-derived or human recombinant proteins which facilitates supply security for large-scale production of clinical and commercial therapies.