Key global challenges in sustainable development
Humans are the most populous large animal on earth today. In fact, the average global human population grows by 2.6 people every second (81 million people per year). That’s a lot of people and in fact, it means the world population could reach 8 billion by 2023!
At the same time, the number of people over 65 years of age is expected to double reaching 20% of the total population – a whopping 1.5 billion by 2050. With more illnesses and long-term diseases as a result of aging and an associated poorer quality of life, global healthcare systems will face even greater resource pressures.
These rapidly changing dynamics mean we are now facing remarkable new global challenges. We are consuming, polluting and using more resources than ever before. Take conventional farming for example, we use more land and water to grow and raise food while also using fertilizers and pesticides that may contaminate and degrade the environment. On the other hand, we must also continue to provide healthcare with compassion and dignity for our aging population.
So how do we do this? The answer: changing the way we approach and solve these challenges. Innovation in cell-based products may provide the solution humanity needs.
Helping the planet with cell-based products
Cells are the building blocks of life. Our bodies are built from trillions of different cell types that work remarkably together in harmony to maintain our wellbeing. In fact, life on earth begins and ends with cells. Yet the unique power of this tiny organism is only recently starting to be explored.
Over the last 15 years, we have seen considerable advances in biotechnology with breakthroughs in cell expansion and regenerative medicine. Cell therapies are important precisely because of the growing, aging population facing chronic and long-term diseases. We need to develop new solutions to regenerate and cure our bodies. This understanding led to considerable progress in the development of multiple cell-based therapies, as well as new and more effective biologics and improved approaches to regenerate damaged tissues. Pluri’s placenta-based cell therapies are an example of these innovative products.
However, cell expansion technologies are not limited to the regenerative industry alone. This state-of-the-art technology has also led to new developments in emerging industries, for example in the food tech industry with cultured meat (genuine animal meat that is produced by cultivating animal cells directly).
With flavor similar to conventional food, cell-based meat production provides many advantages to support global sustainability. For example, no animals are needed to be slaughtered meaning less land and water is used, fewer greenhouse gases, and a reduction in agriculture-related pollution demonstrate its environmental sustainability as well as ethical benefits with the elimination of animal cruelty. Furthermore, cells can be altered to make food healthier, for instance, decreasing fats and increasing nutrients.
What is a cell-based product?
Cell-based products are products that contain or consist of cells or tissues from living tissue, whether human, animal, plant or fish cells that have been cultured and improved. At Pluri, we have developed a unique cell expansion platform to create various cell-based products.
Pluri’s state-of-the-art 3D cell expansion platform
Developed over the last decade, our state-of-the-art patented 3D cell expansion platform harnesses cutting-edge technologies in cell culture, tissue engineering and bioprocessing with the potential to expand and optimize cells of any type.
Our technology uses a proprietary bioreactor system, which provides a three dimensional (3D) micro-environment for our cells that is designed to mimic their natural environment. The bioreactor is integrated into the one of the world’s most advanced, completely automated, aseptic and scalable cell manufacturing facilities.
This tightly controlled and efficient system means we can control every parameter, for example, temperature, glucose consumption and pH. As such, the platform can alter conditions to provide cells with the most natural and optimal conditions for cell proliferation and expansion.
The bioprocessing know-how and design to scale-up
One of the biggest challenges facing cell manufacturing is scaling-up the technology for mass production. At Pluri, we addressed this by designing and building from day one a bioprocessing approach with the capabilities to generate high-quality cell-based products on a mass scale in a cost-effective manner.
Our industrial scale GMP manufacturing facility hosts an in-house proprietary process development platform with exceptional capabilities. This includes a proprietary serum-free media enabling highly consistent production without cost and operational reliance on third party suppliers. The design and development of new manufacturing tools and devices, as well as cold chain methods and tools including Pluri’s Point-Of-Care Thawing Device. For example, our advanced cold chain logistical capabilities support hundreds of cryopreserve cell shipments worldwide.
This validated and automated technology enables the production of billions of high-quality cells for mass-scale with batch-to-batch consistency.
Learning from Pluri’s pharma experience
Today, our technology applies the remarkable power of the placenta in the creation of new therapies for unmet medical needs where often no treatment exists today.
Our PLacental eXpanded (PLX) cell therapy can be administered without blood or tissue matching via a simple intramuscular injection. Our products provide potentially groundbreaking applications for treating damaged muscle, hematology deficiencies, and inflammation.
Our manufacturing processes are approved by key healthcare regulators and to date our PLX cells have treated hundreds of patients worldwide with a strong safety profile.
Harnessing cell-based products for a healthier planet
Yet, the power of Pluri’s cell-based manufacturing platform is not just limited to placental cells. This broad, robust platform has much wider industry application. In fact, the technology can expand many different cell types, including human cells, animal cells, and even potentially plant cells.
By being able to control all parameters from upstream to downstream cell bioprocessing and produce cells on a mass scale with a low cost of goods, the platform can be harnessed to manufacture any cell type. This is not just important for every sector in the life science industry but brings much wider applications to other industries to address key global challenges.
As the pressing economic and healthcare challenges grow with an aging population, cell-based medical products offer new solutions to repair, regrow or replace damaged tissues and potentially cure diseases. As food, water and land resources must go further than ever before with a growing population, cell-based meat and plant-based meat production provide important solutions to maintain and ensure sustainability.
Partnering for greater success
So how do we make this potential better future a reality?
At Pluri, we believe in partnership. Combining expertise to enable the development of various new cell-based products for multiple applications across industries with global reach.
This can be seen with the recent signing of our landmark food-tech joint venture with Tnuva Group, Israel’s largest food producer, to establish a cultured food platform. This agreement supports Tnuva to expand their product pipeline into the field of cultured meat. While also leveraging Pluri’s state-of-the-art technology to address their cell manufacturing needs to produce cultured meat cells at scale for an affordable price.
From foodtech and agtech, to pharmaceuticals and other industries requiring mass cell production, the potential of Pluri’s technology is vast.
We are just at the beginning of exploring the microscopic universe of the cells. So, tune into our upcoming blogs, as we step into this world of hope, wonder and opportunity.