Neurotech’s patented core technology platform, Encapsulated Cell Therapy (ECT), is a first-in-class, versatile drug delivery platform in development for the treatment of a broad array of eye diseases. ECT is a genetically engineered ocular implant that enables continuous production of therapeutic proteins to the eye for over 2 years. Additionally, the therapy is reversible by simply removing the implant.
The ECT implant is inserted into the vitreous through a single incision and sutured in place in a 20-minute outpatient surgical procedure. Watch Video.
The safety of ECT has been well-characterized, with over 1,000 patient years of data.
Customized Therapeutic Cell Line
The basis of the ECT platform is the customized NTC-200 cell line, a proprietary cell line derived from normal human retinal pigment epithelial cells. NTC-200 cells were initially screened from many other cell types as being remarkably hardy: the cells thrive under low oxygen and low nutrient conditions, while being amenable to genetic manipulations under stringent selection methods. Recombinant cell lines derived from transfected NTC-200 cells are able to secrete major classes of therapeutics, including antibodies, fusion proteins, and growth factors. Cell lines are isolated from the host inside a sealed polymer device.
The ECT device is fabricated from medical-grade plastics and consists of a semi-permeable exterior capsule and internal scaffolding, which allows for controlled cell growth and continuous protein production within the cartridge. Watch Video
The semi-permeability of the ECT capsule allows oxygen and nutrients in the vitreous to freely diffuse inward, and allows therapeutic to freely diffuse outward. Different device geometries and nutrient conditioning are explored for each clinical cell line produced, and the configuration best addressing the target disease are tested in models for bio-compatibility. Watch Video
The versatility of the ECT device enables long-term and continuous targeted delivery of single and combination therapeutics, both internally developed at Neurotech, as well as those developed by potential partners for future collaboration.
Neurotech’s dedicated, in-house manufacturing operations, located at their corporate headquarters in Cumberland, RI, are held within a 26,000 square foot facility and operate under GMP guidelines. The ECT manufacturing facility is designed for clinical development and commercial launch, with the capacity of producing at least 150,000 ECT units a year. Cells are inserted into ECT devices in a controlled environment by proprietary semi-automated liquid injectors and performed under cGMP clean room environments. Finished implants are held in nutrient media containers and monitored under strict cGMP quality guidelines. ECT implants are then shipped to trained ophthalmic surgeons for implantation into patients.