News Release

 View printer-friendly version

Charles River and Captain T Cell Announce Plasmid DNA and Viral Vector Manufacturing Alliance for Gene-Modified Cell Therapy

Leveraging CGT CDMO expertise to support T-cell immunotherapy clinical trial

WILMINGTON, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jun. 17, 2024-- Charles River Laboratories International, Inc. (NYSE: CRL) and Captain T Cell, a spinoff from the renowned Max Delbrück Center Berlin, Germany, today announced a plasmid DNA and retrovirus vector production program agreement. As part of Charles River’s Cell and Gene Therapy (CGT) Accelerator Program (CAP), Captain T Cell will have access to established plasmid and viral vector contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) capabilities and advisory services ahead of Captain T Cell’s plan to manufacture a TCR-T cell therapy for solid tumor patients for a Phase I clinical trial.

An Award-winning Approach to Cancer Immunotherapy
With the goal to give new patient groups access to T cell immunotherapies, Captain T Cell is developing efficacy-enhanced treatment options for solid tumor therapies. Using a toolbox of next-generation technologies, Captain T Cell generates T cells displaying tumor-specific T cell receptors (TCR) as well as enhanced persistence and the capacity to cope with the hostile tumor microenvironment of difficult-to-treat solid tumors. Once infused into a patient’s body, these tumor-specific T cells intend to find and destroy tumor cells. This therapeutic method may provide an option for patients with tumors that no longer respond to other therapies.

Cell and Gene Therapy CDMO Solutions
To bring its gene-modified cell therapy to clinic, Captain T Cell will leverage Charles River’s established plasmid and viral vector production capabilities, finetuned over decades supporting CGT developers from pre-clinical to commercial scale.

In recent years, Charles River has significantly broadened its cell and gene therapy portfolio with several acquisition integrations and expansions to simplify complex supply chains and meet growing demand for plasmid DNA, viral vector, and cell therapy services. Combined with its legacy testing capabilities, Charles River offers a premier “concept-to-cure” advanced therapies solution.

Approved Quotes

  • “We are thrilled to work with the Captain T Cell team to support the manufacture of its TCR-T cell cancer immunotherapy. Charles River has decades of success reliably manufacturing plasmid DNA, viral vectors, and cell therapies, helping to safeguard our customer programs and bring potential therapies to patients with limited options.” - Kerstin Dolph, Corporate Senior Vice President, Global Manufacturing, Charles River
  • “Captain T Cell is devoted to developing a new generation of toolbox-engineered T cell-based immunotherapies for solid tumor patients. We have the utmost confidence in the expertise of Charles River as we work to bring our lead candidate to the clinic.” - Felix Lorenz, CEO, Captain T Cell

About Charles River
Charles River provides essential products and services to help pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, government agencies and leading academic institutions around the globe accelerate their research and drug development efforts. Our dedicated employees are focused on providing clients with exactly what they need to improve and expedite the discovery, early-stage development and safe manufacture of new therapies for the patients who need them. To learn more about our unique portfolio and breadth of services, visit

About Captain T Cell
Captain T Cell develops first-in-class, efficacy-enhanced T cell therapies against solid tumors that are not addressed by existing treatments. Captain T Cell generates next-generation TCR-T cells with enhanced persistence and the capacity to cope with the hostile tumor microenvironment of difficult-to-treat solid tumors. In addition, the Company has established a novel allogeneic platform to enable off-the-shelf treatments of solid tumors. Captain T Cell is based in Schoenefeld/Berlin, Germany, and backed by leading European investors i&i Biotech Fund I SCSp, Brandenburg Kapital GmbH, and HIL-INVENT Ges.m.b.H. Captain T Cell was founded by a dedicated team of immuno-oncology experts using technology developed at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association, Berlin, Germany. For more information, please visit

Charles River Investor Contact:
Todd Spencer
Corporate Vice President,
Investor Relations

Charles River Media Contact:
Amy Cianciaruso
Corporate Vice President,
Chief Communications Officer

Captain T Cell Contact:
Dr. Janna Hachmann
Chief Operating Officer

Source: Charles River Laboratories International, Inc.

Featured Report

Charles River Corporate Citizenship Report
View PDF
Print PDF