GMP-Compliant Manufacturing of NKG2D CAR Memory T Cells Using CliniMACS Prodigy

Front Immunol. 2019 Oct 10:10:2361. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2019.02361. eCollection 2019.


Natural killer group 2D (NKG2D) is a natural killer (NK) cell-activating receptor that recognizes different stress-induced ligands that are overexpressed in a variety of childhood and adult tumors. NKG2D chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells have shown potent anticancer effects against different cancer types. A second-generation NKG2D CAR was generated by fusing full-length human NKG2D to 4-1BB costimulatory molecule and CD3ζ signaling domain. Patient-derived CAR T cells show limitations including inability to manufacture CAR T cells from the patients' own T cells, disease progression, and death prior to return of engineered cells. The use of allogeneic T cells for CAR therapy could be an attractive alternative, although undesirable graft vs. host reactions may occur. To avoid such adverse effects, we used CD45RA- memory T cells, a T-cell subset with less alloreactivity, as effector cells to express NKG2D CAR. In this study, we developed a protocol to obtain large-scale NKG2D CAR memory T cells for clinical use by using CliniMACS Prodigy, an automated closed system compliant with Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) guidelines. CD45RA+ fraction was depleted from healthy donors' non-mobilized apheresis using CliniMACS CD45RA Reagent and CliniMACS Plus device. A total of 108 CD45RA- cells were cultured in TexMACS media supplemented with 100 IU/mL IL-2 and activated at day 0 with T Cell TransAct. Then, we used NKG2D-CD8TM-4-1BB-CD3ζ lentiviral vector for cell transduction (MOI = 2). NKG2D CAR T cells expanded between 10 and 13 days. Final cell products were analyzed to comply with the specifications derived from the quality and complementary controls carried out in accordance with the instructions of the Spanish Regulatory Agency of Medicines and Medical Devices (AEMPS) for the manufacture of investigational advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs). We performed four validations. The manufacturing protocol here described achieved large numbers of viable NKG2D CAR memory T cells with elevated levels of NKG2D CAR expression and highly cytotoxic against Jurkat and 531MII tumor target cells. CAR T cell final products met release criteria, except for one showing myc overexpression and another with viral copy number higher than five. Manufacturing of clinical-grade NKG2D CAR memory T cells using CliniMACS Prodigy is feasible and reproducible, widening clinical application of CAR T cell therapies.

Keywords: CliniMACS prodigy; NKG2D CAR; automated production; clinical-grade; large-scale; memory T cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Culture Techniques*
  • Cell Engineering*
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Memory*
  • Immunotherapy, Adoptive*
  • NK Cell Lectin-Like Receptor Subfamily K* / genetics
  • NK Cell Lectin-Like Receptor Subfamily K* / immunology
  • Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Neoplasms* / immunology
  • Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Receptors, Chimeric Antigen* / genetics
  • Receptors, Chimeric Antigen* / immunology
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / genetics
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / immunology
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptor Superfamily, Member 9* / genetics
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptor Superfamily, Member 9* / immunology


  • KLRK1 protein, human
  • NK Cell Lectin-Like Receptor Subfamily K
  • Receptors, Chimeric Antigen
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • TNFRSF9 protein, human
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptor Superfamily, Member 9