The Ex vivo staff have visited Ulm for GMP cleanroom training!

GMP training in Ulm, Germany

The three employees at the Ex vivo facility – the team who will manufacture cell products for the clinical trials associated with the Mohn Research Centre for Regenerative Medicine – recently received training at the cell manufacturing centre in Ulm, Germany. Under the close supervision of Dr. Markus Rojewski and colleagues, they learned how to manufacture mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) according to Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP).

Published 4/21/2022
Last updated 1/26/2024
View over the city Ulm. Photo
Ulm, Germany (photo by Elin Strand, the Quality Control (QC) leader in the Ex vivo facility)

Prof. Dr.

Person dressed in infection control  equipment in Laboratory. Photo

 med. Hubert Schrezenmeier is Head of the cell manufacturing centre in Ulm, which is co-localized at Ulm University and the Institute for Clinical Transfusion Medicine and Immunogenetics (IKT) at the Red Cross in Ulm, Germany. The centre has a manufacturing licence and MSCs are manufactured in a GMP-certified cleanroom. The GMP requirements ensure that the cell products are consistently produced and controlled in compliance with the established quality management system. 

The Ex vivo facility staff visited the centre in Ulm during MSC manufacturing for a multicentre European clinical trial (Maxibone EU project) led and sponsored by Dr. Cecilie Gjerde and Prof. Kamal Mustafa at the Institute of Clinical Dentistry, University of Bergen (IKO-UiB). The manufacturing protocol has been approved by the Norwegian Medicines Agency, The Regional committees for medical and health research ethics (REK) and the National authorities in each participating country. A Voluntary Harmonisation Procedure (VHP) was used to get the approval.  
In this protocol, cells are withdrawn from the bone marrow of patients participating in the clinical trial and shipped to the cell manufacturing centre in Ulm. During the manufacturing process, the MSCs are expanded to 100 million cell in 15 days. Furthermore, the cells undergo several steps of quality controls in compliance with the GMP requirements, before being shipped back to Bergen. As part of the clinical trial, the expanded MSCs will be transplanted back into the patient together with an advanced biomaterial that, in time, will trigger bone healing and generate new bone tissue.
Three persons dressed in infection control equipment in clean room. Photo

The MSCs are manufactured in the GMP-certified cleanroom by authorized personnel. Photo: Kimberley J. Hatfield.

Aim to obtain a GMP-certified facility for cell production in Bergen
Several projects affiliated with the Mohn Research Centre for Regenerative Medicine intend to use a similar MSC manufacturing protocol as described above in their clinical trials. At Haukeland University Hospital in Bergen, a cleanroom for cell manufacturing, the “Ex vivo facility”, has recently been established. The personnel aim at obtaining GMP certification, manufacturing authorization and start the first cell production for use in clinical trials in 2023. The training in Ulm is part of the extensive training required for cleanroom employees, and the Ex vivo team are now one step closer to being certified for manufacturing cell products here in Bergen. 

Three persons in front of Red Cross sign. Photo

The Ex vivo staff outside the Institute for Clinical Transfusion Medicine and Immunogenetics (IKT) at the Red Cross in Ulm, Germany​. From left: Kimberley J. Hatfield, Elin Strand and Petra Vogelsang. Photo: Kimberley J. Hatfield, the Qualified Person (QP) in the Ex vivo facility.​

GMP​: Good manufacturing practice (GMP) describes the minimum standard that a medicines manufacturer must meet in their production processes. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) coordinates inspections to verify compliance with these standards and plays a key role in harmonising GMP activities at European Union (EU) level.
ATMPs​: The MSCs are cell-based therapeutics intended for patient treatment in clinical trials and are classified as Advanced Therap​​y Medicinal Products (ATMP). Other ATMPs include gene therapy medicines and tissue-engineered medicines. Manufacturing of ATMPs intended for human use follows strict regulations and must be prepared in GMP-certified facilities that can ensure the product's microbiological safety.