Good design practices for an integrated containment and production system for advanced therapies

Comparison between open and closed system approach from different point of view

Advances in molecular biology and the possibility of differentiating stem cells have opened up new scenarios in therapies that use progenitor or variously differentiated cells. Regardless of the choice of the system, designing a plant for producing advanced therapies requires a clear understanding of the final objective (the product), taking into account all the regulatory, environment, process, risk assessment, asepsis, and validation aspects involved until its implementation. Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) compliant procedures are a prerequisite for cell production in clinical application, and clean rooms are zones for producing cell therapies. Clean rooms for clinical application require high running and maintenance costs and need trained operators and strict procedures to prepare the rooms and the people involved in the processes.

While today production mainly occurs in open systems (clean rooms), there is evidence of processes in closed systems (isolators). The isolator is a Grade A aseptic closed system that requires a controlled environment and at least a Grade D environment in the case of sterile productions (A in D closed system). The use of isolators can ensure a very high level of protection against the risk of product contamination and, at the same time, provide the operators with a very safe working environment. Furthermore, working with closed systems can optimize and facilitate the production of Advanced Therapy Medical Products in GMP environments, by providing an easily reproducible working tool even for large‐scale production, with generally lower costs compared to a classical clean room approach. In conclusion, the isolator workstation as a possible alternative to the classic clean room, due to its small size and the simplification of the working and maintenance operational procedures, may represent an interesting solution in the perspective of the increasingly more stringent requests for cost reductions of GMP in clinical application.



Closed Systems vs Open Systems: Operational cost savings*

Total Saving





* Values are given for an identical production output

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