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Empowering discovery. Advancing therapy.

Miltenyi Biotec plays an important role in the design, development, manufacture, and integration of products that empower the advancement of biomedical research and enable cell and gene therapy.

Scandinavia, with its numerous biotech companies and eminent institutes, is a hotspot for cutting-edge biomedical research. “The innovative Nordic region has brought forth highly interesting applications in the field of cell- and immunotherapy. These are exciting times and the exchange and discussion of novel concepts and technologies will help continue the transfer of research from bench to bedside,” Miltenyi Biotec Norden Country Manager Thomas Kjaer Mogensen states.

Offering solutions for every step of cell research

Founded in Germany in 1989, Miltenyi Biotec focusses on supporting the translational step from basic research to innovative cell and gene therapies. Over the years Miltenyi Biotec has grown from a small company with one product to a global company with over 14,000 products. Local support is crucial in order to provide expertise and technical assistance and a Nordic office therefore opened in Lund, Sweden, in 2012.

Miltenyi Biotec is based around the company’s magnetic cell separation method, MACS® Technology, which was patented in 1990. This technique laid the foundation for the company’s success. Cell separation using MACS Technology allows researchers to isolate any cell type and to create pools of viable cells with high purity and yield.With MACS Technology as its foundation, the company has grown to provide comprehensive solutions for sample preparation, cell separation, flow cytometry, cell sorting, cell culture and stimulation, cell therapy, cell manufacturing, and therapeutic apheresis. This increased complexity of the portfolio requires local expertise to offer adequate support in the transition towards new groundbreaking research and its application.

Dedicated to providing excellent support

“We are researchers working for researchers. With so many innovative products it is very important that we have a dedicated team who are familiar with the science behind the products and discuss benefits and challenges with other scientists,” says Thomas Kjaer Mogensen. “This is why we build our team around people with extensive research experience themselves; they understand the problems one might face in the lab and they understand how to overcome them. Many of our employees have a Ph.D. background or extensive know-how from the biotech industry and GMP regulations.”

The Nordic local Miltenyi Biotec office is based in the heart of the Medicon Valley region in the south of Sweden, in Lund. Finance, marketing, customer service, the country manager, and the local technical consultant are located in this office. A team consisting of technical consultants, clinical specialist, application specialist, and service engineer supports customers in the Nordic countries.

Fostering networks within the scientific community

Recently Miltenyi Biotec Norden arranged a scientific day in Lund, covering topics of cell therapy and single-cell applications. The goal was to foster interaction between academic researchers and industry representatives from both Sweden and Denmark. With 150 researchers meeting up from different fields it was a lively event with a lot of interesting presentations and interaction.

“It was exactly what we had been hoping for. We wanted to bridge the gap between Denmark’s and Sweden’s Life Science community, and we also wanted to create an open atmosphere where scientists can learn and get new ideas from each other. We invited top cell therapy researchers and the presentations demonstrated cutting-edge developments within this field. We are definitely continuing this initiative, so keep your eyes open for new events in 2019,” says Martin Schalén, Marketing Product Specialist at Miltenyi Biotec Norden.

MACSQuant_Tyto_CliniMACSProdigy_Clean_Room

Supporting translational research for almost 30 years. Image Copyright: Miltenyi Biotec GmbH

 

Upper image: The illustration shows T cells attached to a tumor cell. Certain CD8+ T cells can specifically recognize tumor antigens on the cell surface and have the capacity to kill tumor cells directly. Copyright: Miltenyi Biotec GmbH

 


Meet your Miltenyi Biotec team:

The office is located in Lund, close to Kastrup airport:

Miltenyi Biotec Norden
Scheelevägen 17
22370 Lund
Sweden

Phone: +46 46 280 72 80
E-mail: macs@miltenyibiotec.se

miltenyibiotec.se


Getting to know Miltenyi Biotec Norden

Country manager Thomas Mogensen introduces himself.

 

Thomas Mogensen

Thomas Mogensen

A Dane coming back from the U.S. to work in Sweden for Miltenyi Biotec in the Nordics. Thomas Mogensen, country manager of Miltenyi Biotec Norden, gives his perspective on the innovative Nordic market, commuting over country borders and his manager role.

You worked in the USA for 7 years, what was your focus there?

Thomas: “I was in charge of establishing an entity of a small Danish Life Science company from scratch. Successfully, we established a direct relationship with top biotech companies in the U.S., especially within the cell therapy field.”

You decided to come back, why?

Thomas: “The original plan was to stay two years in California, and we ended up staying there for seven, but my wife and I were never in doubt that we wanted to come back home to Denmark with our daughter. We had some great years in the U.S. You learn a lot about yourself living in another country, but at some point we felt that it was the right time to come back.”

The Nordic countries are known for being innovative and at the forefront in many fields, what is it like to work in this innovative environment?

Thomas: “There are a lot of good ideas coming from the Nordics, with a lot of opportunities to form successful companies. We should be proud of the innovation in the Nordics and should not hesitate to emphasize that. I meet with a lot of smaller companies with limited funding and I am fascinated with the research climate and the ideas that are in the making. There is a huge potential.”

You joined Miltenyi Biotec in 2017. Why did you join this company?

Thomas: “I looked for innovative companies with great technologies. Miltenyi Biotec thinks differently in many aspects. For example, the automated manufacturing of cell products in a small GMP-compliant instrument really sparked my interest. I can´t think of any other company that stands out as much when talking about innovation and at the same time trying to help scientists and clinicians develop novel therapies.”

What is the best part of your job?

Thomas: “Working with people, both within our own organization but also in terms of meeting scientists and clinicians. I really want to create an open atmosphere where we have vivid discussions and come up with new ideas. So, the people are definitely number one to me. People should feel empowered in their position to try new things, something a little out of the box.”

How would you describe your leadership style as a country manager for Miltenyi Biotec Norden?

Thomas: “I am a team player. It is not me as a manager making Miltenyi Biotec Norden succeed, it is the people in the organization that are. I´m very excited about culture and passion, this is something that shines through any aspect, and that our customers will see and experience as well. If we feel comfortable, empowered and relaxed in the environment we are working, people will thrive and develop. I like passion and I am very driven by people. The curiosity of people, having an assignment and fulfilling it.”

Where do you see the most potential for Miltenyi Biotec to make a difference?

Thomas: “I am very pleased to see that Miltenyi Biotec is at the forefront of cell and gene therapy developments. With technological advances like our CliniMACS Prodigy® Instrument we can assist scientists and medical doctors in their daily work. I am very proud of working in a business that helps save lives and that is something we see already today. In the long run, a great ambition for Miltenyi Biotec is to have an even bigger impact on cancer research and treatment than we already have today and I think we will succeed in many ways with that objective.”

Being a Dane working in a Swedish office, what is it like to come in to work in the morning? A challenge?

Thomas (laughs): “I like challenges, and although the Nordics may seem to be one region with small differences, there are some differences between the countries. However, if you don´t take yourself too seriously and can tease each other a little bit based on the small differences it can bring something to the team as well. The workplace should be fun, challenging and developing.”


Quick questions with Thomas:

 

What is the most innovative thing about Miltenyi Biotec?

Thomas: “The people!”

And the most innovative product?

Thomas: “The CliniMACS Prodigy®.”

Sweden or Denmark?

Thomas (laughs): “I´m happy to be a Dane working in Sweden.”

Stockholm or Copenhagen?

Thomas: “In my opinion Stockholm is prettier, Copenhagen has more edge.”


Meet your Miltenyi Biotec team:

The office is located in Lund, close to Kastrup airport:

Miltenyi Biotec Norden
Scheelevägen 17
22370 Lund
Sweden

Phone: +46 46 280 72 80
E-mail: macs@miltenyibiotec.se

miltenyibiotec.se


The calling card of the future

American politician Anna Eshoo once described innovation as the calling card of the future. With that in mind, a good case could be made for listing the Nordic region as the address on that card. The cutting-edge biomedical research that takes place in its plethora of prominent institutions and renowned biotech firms attests to that. Although not a native Scandinavian firm, Miltenyi Biotec sits comfortably nestled in arguably the heart of all that activity, Lund.

MACSQuant_Tyto_CliniMACSProdigy_Clean_Room

The MACSQuant Tyto Sorter makes use of very low-pressure filtered air for exceptionally gentle cell treatment, resulting in never-before-seen viability and functionality in a sterile, GMP compliant, fully closed setup.

From its foundation, Miltenyi Biotec has focused on thinking differently, whether through pushing forward new frontiers or simply seeing minor adjustments to existing processes. Often, this has led the multidisciplinary team around the founder to create products for previously unthought of applications. Based on the then revolutionary MACS® Technology, the firm’s 14,000+ products were, and continue to be, created by its 475 dedicated R&D employees, supported by a sales force and customer service department well-known for their scientific literacy and helpful counsel. Such an output of innovation is possible through continual interaction and collaboration with the scientific community, reflecting Miltenyi Biotec’s fundamental belief that new ideas are created by the sharing of experiences between some of the world’s most brilliant and creative minds.

More recently, this deep-rooted understanding of, and appreciation for, the real-life challenges faced in the research environment led to one of our most revolutionary products yet; the MACSQuant® Tyto® Sorter. Traditional cell-sorting techniques are droplet-based, which means precious cell samples are subjected to high pressures, decompression, and electrical charges. Not only can all of these factors potentially impact on the viability and functionality of the cell population of interest, the droplet method can lead to the formation of biohazardous aerosols, endangering the researcher and requiring both additional time and capital to offset. Finally, sample-to-sample carry-over and external contamination are always of concern in traditional cell sorting, necessitating laborious cleaning protocols.

The MACSQuant® Tyto® Sorter eliminates all of these concerns. Samples are kept in sterile, disposable, fully closed cartridges, which means no risk of contamination of any kind, and no chance of aerosol and droplet formation. Since all cell sorting takes place exclusively within the disposable cartridge, no cleaning is required either. Instead, a microchip at the bottom of the cartridge enables high-speed, fluorescence-based sorting via the world’s fastest mechanical sort valve into either the positive or the negative collection chambers. Cells to be sorted are driven through this system by very low-pressure filtered air without the need for decompression or the application of a charge. This exceptionally gentle cell treatment results in never-before-seen viability and functionality of isolated cell populations, which in turn means more conclusive and reproducible research findings. The entire process is plug-and-play, requiring minimal operator training, and nine times less hands-on time with the instrument in total compared with conventional droplet-based cell sorters.

But such an innovative new technology doesn’t just improve existing processes with added convenience; it opens up entirely new applications. For example, because cell sorting takes place entirely within the closed system of the MACSQuant® Tyto® Cartridge, cells remain sterile. And since there is no sheath fluid, using the system with MACS GMP Tyto Consumables means the cells only ever come into contact with MACS® GMP products. This makes Miltenyi Biotec the first company ever to offer sterile, GMP-compliant multiparametric cell sorting in a fully closed setup, opening up entirely new possibilities in translational and clinical research settings.

It is our belief that this sort of breakthrough concept is the result of an authentic adherence to the scientific mindset; to always question how things are done, and how they can be done better; through collaboration, and through the free and frank exchange of challenges, successes, and ideas.

 

Meet your Miltenyi Biotec team:

The office is located in Lund, close to Kastrup airport:

Miltenyi Biotec Norden

Scheelevägen 17

22370 Lund

Sweden

0046 46 280 72 80

macs@miltenyibiotec.se


 

Prodigious privilege

Professor Jonas Nilsson is Director of Sahlgrenska Cancer Center, a joint effort between the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg and the Sahlgrenska University Hospital. Founded in 2010, its focus is exclusively on translational cancer research. Miltenyi Biotec sat down with Professor Nilsson to find out more about the challenges his group faces and how it overcomes them.

Professor Jonas Nilsson, right, together with his GMP-trainee staff members Samuel Alsen, left, and Elin Forsberg, middle, during a pre-GMP run with the CliniMACS Prodigy.

Can you briefly summarize your team’s goals?

“Our long-term goal is to improve patient care by facilitating new scientific discoveries and translating these into clinical practice. To do this, we’re trying to identify biomarkers of response to new targeted therapies and immunotherapies, and create personalized animal models on which to test drugs, as well as further humanization for use in immune-oncology research. Basic researchers and clinical investigators are working together closely to devise new therapies against melanoma and take these from bench to bedside more quickly and more reliably. Our overall aim is to develop a new therapy intervention for malignant melanomas that are resistant to conventional chemotherapy and immunotherapy.”

How are you doing that?

“I’m sure it comes as no surprise that one of the approaches we’re looking at involves CAR T cell therapy – it’s the current darling of immune-oncological research after all and yet, despite the hype, not a single CAR T cell approach has been approved for the treatment of solid tumors, including melanoma. Our work concentrates on bioinformatically screening known CAR T cell targets to see if they are also expressed on melanomas. To my knowledge, we are one of only two research groups worldwide adopting this approach (although for different cell surface markers). Thrillingly, research just this year has demonstrated that melanomas do indeed express certain cell surface markers that can be targeted with CAR T cells.”

That sounds promising!

“In theory. Of course, making this a reality is a little more tricky: you need to extract T cells from your patient; you need to genetically modify them – in a GMP facility if you want your eventual CAR T cell product to be put back into the patient; you need to expand them and then put them through a number of tests to make sure they do what they’re supposed to do to the cancer cells; you need to humanize animal cells, and if you get through all of those tests satisfactorily, well then you need to have a chat with the EMA.”

So quite a few hurdles to overcome?

“Absolutely, but I would say that three challenges stand out as particularly significant for our lab: firstly, though we’ve been creating virus vectors for 16 years, it’s never before been under GMP conditions, and when some of your materials are normally custom-made, that can be a tough transition to make. Secondly of course is meeting the EMA’s exacting standards with respect to quality pre-clinical data. Thirdly, but by no means least, is a clinical level challenge: finding clinicians willing to perform first-time-in-man treatments.”

What do you use Miltenyi Biotec’s products for in all of this?

I’ve been a Miltenyi Biotec customer on the basic research side of things since 2001, starting out with just the MACS® Columns for magnetic cell separation, since I’d heard good things about them from neighboring labs. That’s why when an ex-PhD colleague who’d moved to Miltenyi Biotec told me about the CliniMACS Prodigy®, I knew we had to have one: an incubated, closed, GMP system? It was so obvious how much this would facilitate our work. The last thing we need to add to our challenges is to be held back by unnecessary manual work. What’s more, the instrument’s size means we can both expand and transduce the T cells in a single set up, and even place the finished product directly into an infusion bag to be taken to the patient’s bed. Put a CliniMACS Prodigy in a GMP lab and all you need is your starting material and virus, and you get GMP-grade CAR T cells. That’s it! It probably halves the manual effort involved. Moreover, having literal bench-to-bedside capabilities facilitates and brings momentum to our work, and a renewed positive energy to the project. My staff love it.

So it’s safe to say your experience has been a good one?

“In every way. Although we’ve been using it less than a year altogether, I can already see that the CliniMACS Prodigy embodies everything I’ve come to expect from my dealings with Miltenyi Biotec: it’s like working with another scientific collaborator – they don’t just sell, they want to develop and discover too. That also brings with it another benefit in using the CliniMACS Prodigy: Miltenyi Biotec is constantly developing the platform, so we’re already seeing a number of new plug-in options available, such as an electroporator. So if, for example, we want virus-free applications at some point, we know this kind of future-proofing is going to allow us to add new capabilities to the system as and when we need to. Combined with the ever-present availability of on-site training and QC validation for the instrument, this is particularly reassuring. Finally, of course, we’re exposed to more and more of the Miltenyi Biotec product line, which includes so much else in the GMP arena that the company feels like a one-stop shop for cell manufacturing.”

Any parting thoughts?

“I feel privileged every single day to work in a lab like ours, and I know many others in our line of research feel the same. Almost everyone will have friends or family impacted by cancer at some point in their lives, and the quest to cure the incurable is an inspiring and wonderful way to give something back to society, to bring hope where none is left. Our collective work relies on the support of many different agencies, suppliers, and the general public. In amongst that, it’s critical not to forget the importance of bridging the gap between basic research and the clinical disciplines to make this vital work both easier and better. That’s why innovative products like the CliniMACS Prodigy are so important, and why I’d have no hesitation in recommending researchers at every stage to work with companies like Miltenyi Biotec, who push the boundaries of the possible with you.”