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Transplant Cell Ther ; 2023 Jun 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20231401


During the first outbreak of an emergent virus, methods need to be developed to rapidly establish suitable therapies for patients with high risk of severe disease caused by the pathogen. Considering the importance of the T-cell response in controlling viral infections, adoptive cell therapy with virus-specific T cells has been used as a safe and effective antiviral prophylaxis and treatment for immunocompromised patients. The main objective of this study was to establish an effective and safe method to cryostore whole blood as starting material and to adapt a T-cell activation and expansion protocol to generate an off-the-shelf antiviral therapeutic option. Additionally, we studied how memory T-cell phenotype, clonality based on T-cell receptor, and antigen specificity could condition characteristics of the final expanded T-cell product. Twenty-nine healthy blood donors were selected from a database of convalescent plasma donors with a confirmed history of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Blood was processed using a fully automated, clinical-grade, and 2-step closed system. Eight cryopreserved bags were advanced to the second phase of the protocol to obtain purified mononucleated cells. We adapted the T-cell activation and expansion protocol, without specialized antigen-presenting cells or presenting molecular structures, in a G-Rex culture system with IL-2, IL-7, and IL-15 cytokine stimulation. The adapted protocol successfully activated and expanded virus-specific T cells to generate a T-cell therapeutic product. We observed no major impact of post-symptom onset time of donation on the initial memory T-cell phenotype or clonotypes resulting in minor differences in the final expanded T-cell product. We showed that antigen competition in the expansion of T-cell clones affected the T-cell clonality based on the T-cell receptor ß repertoire. We demonstrated that good manufacturing practice of blood preprocessing and cryopreserving is a successful procedure to obtain an initial cell source able to activate and expand without a specialized antigen-presenting agent. Our 2-step blood processing allowed recruitment of the cell donors independently of the expansion cell protocol timing, facilitating donor, staff, and facility needs. Moreover, the resulting virus-specific T cells could be also banked for further use, notably maintaining viability and antigen specificity after cryopreservation.

Stem Cell Res Ther ; 13(1): 408, 2022 08 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2002225


BACKGROUND: The increasing number of clinical trials for induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived cell therapy products makes the production on clinical grade iPSC more and more relevant and necessary. Cord blood banks are an ideal source of young, HLA-typed and virus screened starting material to produce HLA-homozygous iPSC lines for wide immune-compatibility allogenic cell therapy approaches. The production of such clinical grade iPSC lines (haplolines) involves particular attention to all steps since donor informed consent, cell procurement and a GMP-compliant cell isolation process. METHODS: Homozygous cord blood units were identified and quality verified before recontacting donors for informed consent. CD34+ cells were purified from the mononuclear fraction isolated in a cell processor, by magnetic microbeads labelling and separation columns. RESULTS: We obtained a median recovery of 20.0% of the collected pre-freezing CD34+, with a final product median viability of 99.1% and median purity of 83.5% of the post-thawed purified CD34+ population. CONCLUSIONS: Here we describe our own experience, from unit selection and donor reconsenting, in generating a CD34+ cell product as a starting material to produce HLA-homozygous iPSC following a cost-effective and clinical grade-compliant procedure. These CD34+ cells are the basis for the Spanish bank of haplolines envisioned to serve as a source of cell products for clinical research and therapy.

Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells , Antigens, CD34/genetics , Antigens, CD34/metabolism , Blood Banks , Fetal Blood , Homozygote , Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells/metabolism
Blood Transfus ; 19(2): 158-167, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1067610


BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic is placing blood and tissue establishments under unprecedented stress, putting its capacity to provide the adequate care needed at risk. Here we reflect on how our integrated organisational model has faced the first impact of the pandemic and describe what challenges, opportunities and lessons have emerged. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The organisational model of the Catalan Blood and Tissue Bank (Banc de Sang i Teixits, BST) is described. The new scenario was managed by following international recommendations and considering the pandemic in a context of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity (VUCA), allowing rapid measures to be taken. These aimed to: ensure donor safety, promote proper responses to patients' needs, ensure the health and well-being of personnel, and prepare for future scenarios. RESULTS: The BST has adapted its activities to the changes in demand. No shortage of any product or service occurred. Donor acceptance, safety and wellbeing were maintained except for tissue donation, which almost completely stopped. To support the health system, several activities have been promoted: large-scale convalescent plasma (CP) production, clinical trials with CP and mesenchymal stromal cells, massive COVID-19 diagnoses, and participation in co-operative research and publications. Haemovigilance is running smoothly and no adverse effects have been detected among donors or patients. DISCUSSION: Several elements have proven to be critical when addressing the pandemic scenario: a) the early creation of a crisis committee in combination with technical recommendations and the recognition of a VUCA scenario; b) identification of the strategies described; c) the integrated donor-to-patient organisational model; d) active Research and Development (R&D); and e) the flexibility of the staff. It is essential to underline the importance of the need for centralised management, effective contingency strategies, and early collaboration with peers.

Blood Banks/organization & administration , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Tissue Banks/organization & administration , Blood Banks/supply & distribution , Blood Component Transfusion/statistics & numerical data , Blood Donors , Bone Marrow Transplantation , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/therapy , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Models, Organizational , Occupational Diseases/prevention & control , Safety , Spain , Tissue and Organ Procurement , COVID-19 Serotherapy