Date：23 July (Friday)
Time: 10:40 – 12:10 (GMT+8)
Associate Professor Dominic Wall is Peter Mac’s Executive Director of Business Ventures. This role provides leadership and management for programs and departments relating to both existing and emerging business ventures, as well the new Centre of Excellence in Cellular Immunotherapy which was established in 2019 with an $80 million contribution from the Commonwealth Government. This program intends to provide new means for Australian patients to access innovative cell based immunotherapy products such as CAR-T cells.
He is also the Chief Scientific Officer of Peter Mac’s majority owned and controlled independent and commercial business Cell Therapies Pty Ltd which provides specialised contract manufacturing and testing of cells for human therapy, predominantly in the field of cellular immunotherapy and gene therapy.
Dominic is responsible to provide the executive support for all of these businesses to flourish in a public hospital setting. Dominic has been directly involved in cell therapy manufacturing since the 1990s and was responsible for manufacturing Australia’s first CAR-T products in 2008. Cell Therapies has Australia’s only TGA licence for manufacturing of both commercial and clinical trial CAR-T products, and Dominic carries final accountability for quality and manufacturing of those products. He has also been involved in pathology service delivery since his training in London at the University of London School of Pathology at Middlesex & UCH, followed by a PhD at the University of Melbourne and a Founding Fellowship in the Faculty of Science in the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia.
Cell Therapies has been operating as a commercial cell and gene therapy contract manufacturing and development (CDMO) organization for over 18 years and is now one of only very few such CDMO companies globally supplying commercially reimbursed CAR-T products. Cell and Gene Therapy products have rapidly evolved from discovery and early phase trials into commercial products which by nature of their rapid deployment have had quite restricted process development and which are inherently variable as they are often autologous/donor derived products. Consequently these technologies have costs of goods which are orders of magnitude higher than comparable biologics. In parallel these technologies are being introduced into reimbursed markets where the clinical and commercial obligations place unprecedented demands upon all the stakeholders, including healthcare providers, jurisdictions and reimbursement bodies. The cost of these technologies, whilst high, represent the current level of process control, and our lack of certainty on the causes of manufacturing failure. The field is evolving rapidly with many new approvals for other indications, and an even larger wave of innovation (new targets, new cell types and other armoring strategies). Future models of process optimisation will be presented to consider how we can control these production variables, and reduce cost, as well as what we should be expecting in the future..