Background: Many data are available on expansion protocols for mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) for both experimental settings and manufacturing for clinical trials. However, there is a lack of information on translation of established protocols for Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) from validation to manufacturing for clinical application. We present the validation and translation of a standardized pre-clinical protocol for isolation and expansion of MSCs for a clinical trial for reconstitution of alveolar bone.
Methods: Key parameters of 22 large-scale expansions of MSCs from bone marrow (BM) for validation were compared with 11 expansions manufactured for the clinical trial "Jaw bone reconstruction using a combination of autologous mesenchymal stromal cells and biomaterial prior to dental implant placement (MAXILLO1)" aimed at reconstruction of alveolar bone.
Results: Despite variations of the starting material, the robust protocol led to stable performance characteristics of expanded MSCs. Manufacturing of the autologous advanced therapy medicinal product MAXILLO-1-MSC was possible, requiring 21 days for each product. Transport of BM aspirates and MSCs within 24 h was guaranteed. MSCs fulfilled quality criteria requested by the national competent authority. In one case, the delivered MSCs developed a mosaic in chromosomal finding, showing no abnormality in differentiation capacity, growth behavior or surface marker expression during long-term culture. The proportion of cells with the mosaic decreased in long-term culture and cells stopped growth after 38.4 population doublings.
Conclusions: Clinical use of freshly prepared MSCs, manufactured according to a standardized and validated protocol, is feasible for bone regeneration, even if there was a long local distance between manufacturing center and clinical site. Several parameters, such as colony forming units fibroblasts (CFU-F), percentage of CD34+ cells, cell count of mononuclear cells (MNCs) and white blood cells (WBCs), of the BM may serve as a predictive tool for the yield of MSCs and may help to avoid unnecessary costs for MSC manufacturing due to insufficient cell expansion rates.
Keywords: Good Manufacturing Practice; advanced therapy medicinal products; cell production; karyotyping; mesenchymal stromal cells; quality control; translational medicine.
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