Interview with Fernanda Masri: Cell & Gene Therapy at Catapult UK

We had an insightful discussion with Fernanda Masri, the Head of Commercial Operations at the Stevenage Manufacturing Innovation Centre of Cell & Gene Therapy at Catapult UK. Fernanda is originally a chemical engineer by training and specialised in biochemical engineering during her academic career. She has a wide expertise in the CGT since 2010 improving the optimization process of the current bioproduction technologies, particularly in the CAR-T manufacturing at different clinical stages. To that end, Fernanda helps companies progress from early-phase clinical trials to increase the throughput without increasing the manufacturing footprint.

Fernanda’s proficiency goes beyond the industry since Fernanda was working as a project manager organising international conferences in “Advancing the Manufacture of Cell & Gene Therapy. One of the hot topics she touched up on is the AI digital solutions harmonising the collection of the data from R&D to process development, to manufacturing, to clinical. She is with us today on AnalysisMode podcast to tell us all about her journey at Catapult and challenges in the cell therapy bioprocessing.

To get some insight about the discussed topics:

[Guest/Fernanda ] – “There’s some digital solutions emerging for various stages, but there’s still a big disconnection between what would be considered R&D to process development, to manufacturing, to clinical. And a lot of it comes down to how this data can be shared because the systems that collect the data are very different in every stage. So is there a software or some sort of solution out there that can harmonise the collection of the data?”

“So until we can get to that point, I think we will still be looking at sort of segmented areas. And one of the things that I always think would be really great is to be able to leverage, let’s say we were thinking of a business where you could analyse data while ensuring privacy through technological development – maybe leveraging things like blockchain where you could allow for, let’s say, hospitals or other centres or businesses themselves, those business solutions that have high activity to act as data analysis centres that share insights from their data, but not the actual data itself, in a secure way so that we never compromise patient data or any of personal details. How could we leverage that in more of a crowdsourcing way where we could use everyone’s data? So I think there’s still quite a long way to go in terms of digitalization, but there’s quite a lot of technologies that are coming up that are very promising and very interesting.”

“It’s just how we incorporate them and getting the right people from probably outside of cell and gene therapy to come into the space and teach us how we can work with those kinds of technologies.”

[Host/Sadeem] – “You have certainly touched a very hot topic in AI because I think it is finding the means and the tools of how we can share the data and also make sure that everyone’s data, especially when it comes to the patient’s data, is more in a shared and secured manner.”


To listen to the complete conversation on Analysismode podcast, you can check our episode

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