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Etaluma, Inc. Joins Cell Manufacturing Research Initiative

Apr 3, 2020 | Press Releases

Etaluma, Inc. Joins Cell Manufacturing Research Initiative to Further Advance Cell Therapy Discovery

April 2, 2020 – (Carlsbad, CA) Etaluma has joined the National Science Foundation (NSF) Engineering Research Center for Cell Manufacturing Technologies (CMaT). CMaT is a consortium of universities, companies, and clinical collaborators brought together to develop transformative tools and technologies for the consistent, scalable and low-cost production of high-quality living therapeutic cells. The center, launched in 2017 with a $20 million investment from NSF, aims to revolutionize the treatment of cancer, heart disease, autoimmune diseases and other disorders by enabling broad use of potentially curative therapies that utilize living cells – such as immune cells and stem cells – as “drugs.”  

“Etaluma is honored to be part of this important effort which will use our time lapse microscopes for evaluating cell behavior and health. The production of high value cells for therapeutic use is a big part of the future of treatment” said Chris Shumate, CEO of Etaluma.

Etaluma makes compact and high-resolution microscopes and imaging modules. Their digital microscopes are often used inside an incubator for robust long-term time-lapse live cell imaging.

To facilitate the widespread application of these cutting-edge emerging treatments, CMaT will develop robust and scalable technologies, innovative analytical tools, and engineering systems that will enable industry and clinical facilities to reproducibly manufacture efficient, safe and affordable cell-therapy products. The center will also develop improved models for a robust supply chain, storage and distribution system for these therapeutic cell products.

In addition to the consistent manufacture of cell-based therapies, the public-private CMaT initiative will also help develop a skilled, diverse and inclusive bio-manufacturing workforce through extensive education and training activities at the K-12, technical college, undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral levels.

“We are pleased to welcome Etaluma to this new initiative,” said Krishnendu Roy, director of CMaT and the Robert A. Milton chair professor in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University. “The center will develop the technologies needed to use living cells in standardized therapies by clinicians to serve large numbers of patients worldwide. We are very excited about what this will mean to the world.”

Beyond Georgia Tech, the center includes major university partners – the University of Georgia, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus – as well as affiliate partners such as the University of Pennsylvania, Emory University, the Gladstone Institutes and University of Oregon. Additional international academic partners from Canada, Ireland, and Japan, as well as industry and the U.S. national laboratories, are critical collaborators in the effort.

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