RIYADHKing Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Center (KFSH&RC) has succeeded internally in producing T cells (Chimeric antigen receptor or CAR-T), used in treating cancer patients. It will contribute to reducing the treatment cost from SR1.3 million to about SR250000 per case.

This will make available treatment for patients within a period not exceeding 14 days, bypassing all cost and shipping challenges.

The achievement of KFSH&RC will ease the suffering of patients and enable them to receive treatment in a timely manner, in a way integrating with the national endeavors to localize vital industries.

The announcement about this remarkable achievement was made during the inaugural session of the Advanced Therapies Forum in Riyadh on Sunday. The forum aims to increase the number of clinical research in the field of T-cell therapy and gene therapy, to empower patients in the Kingdom from access to it, and providing the opportunity for industrial partners, to explore opportunities to open clinical research at KFSH&RC .

Production of T cells would strengthen KFSH&RC ’s position as a pioneer in providing specialized healthcare. Before the start of internal manufacturing of the T cells for cancel treatment, its production period ranged between 21 to 28 days, due to its manufacturing outside the Kingdom, which made it subject to many logistical challenges and supply chain disruptions that include cryopreservation and shipping to external manufacturing centers, then re-shipping it to the hospital, which causes delays and thus resulted in delay in receiving treatment of patients and increase in their period of suffering.

This achievement represents the result of cooperation between many departments of the KFSH&RC within an internal manufacturing center for T cells, equipped with advanced bioreactors and cell processing units, following strict regulatory standards and regulations to ensure the quality and safety of therapeutic products, preceded by the implementation of comprehensive training programs for employees on cell manufacturing principles and techniques. In the current stage, T cells produced internally will be provided to patients, as part of a clinical trial at KFSH&RC.

T cells, which are also called T lymphocyte and thymocyte, are a type of white blood cells. These cells are part of the immune system and develop from stem cells in the bone marrow. They help protect the body from infection and may help fight cancer. CAR T-cell therapy is also sometimes talked about as a type of cell-based gene therapy, because it involves altering the genes inside T cells to help them attack the cancer. This type of treatment can be very helpful in treating some types of cancer, even when other treatments are no longer working.

T-cell therapy is one of the latest developments in the field of cancer treatment, as it depends on modifying the patient’s immune cells so that they are able to recognize and destroy cancer cells. They are extracted from the patient's blood, then sent to manufacturing centers to be genetically modified, and after that, they are re-injected into the body. The patient begins to attack and destroy cancer cells.

This achievement comes within the framework of the strategy of King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Center to develop advanced treatments and increase opportunities for clinical research, ensuring the provision of the best possible health care to all patients, as part of its commitment to enhancing the quality of healthcare driven by innovation and excellence.

It is noteworthy that KFSH&RC was ranked first in the Middle East and Africa and 20th in the world, for the second year in a row, on the list of the top 250 academic healthcare institutions around the world, and the most valuable healthcare brand in the Kingdom and the Middle East, according to the 2024 Brand Finance reports.

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