Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) today announced professors Carl H. June, MD, and Michael Milone, MD, Ph.D., as recipients of an Agilent Thought Leader Award. Both scientists are being recognized for their joint contributions to the field of CAR T-cell mediated cancer immunotherapy, having codeveloped tisagenlecleucel (Kymriah™), the first cell and gene therapy product approved by the US FDA.

The award will focus on defining standards for the design, validation, and manufacturing of cell-based cancer therapeutics. Combining metabolomic and cell-based tools with more efficient CRISPR-based engineering of T-cells will allow labs to validate and maintain quality control downstream in development and manufacturing. 

Agilent will provide modified gRNAs and oligonucleotide libraries to optimize the engineering of patient T-cells. Agilent will also provide instruments including an xCELLigence RTCA eSight, a NovoCyte Quanteon Flow Cytometer, a 6546 LC/Q-TOF Mass Spectrometer, and a 2100 Bioanalyzer system, which will work in concert with cell engineering advances to enable the development of protocols and workflows for characterization and selection of the best approaches to T-cell engineering.

“It’s an honor to be chosen for an Agilent Thought Leader Award. Partnering with Agilent will help strengthen our research in areas with a critical impact on cancer treatment,” said Dr. June.

“Receiving this Agilent award will enable us to improve the generation and characterization of cell-based products and therapeutics,” added Dr. Milone.

“The Thought Leader Award program is about promoting fundamental scientific advancements,” said Kevin Meldrum, vice president and general manager of Agilent’s Genomics Division, and executive sponsor of the award. “The work of Drs. June and Milone embody what Agilent aims to celebrate and advance.”

Dr. June is the Richard W. Vague Professor of Immunotherapy, director of the Center for Cellular Immunotherapies, and director of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy at the Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of the Naval Academy in Annapolis and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, 1979. Dr. Milone is an associate professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and founding member of the Center for Cellular Immunotherapies at the Perelman School of Medicine. He is a graduate of Stevens Institute of Technology and earned his MD and Ph.D. in 1999 from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.

The Agilent Thought Leader Award program promotes fundamental scientific advances by contributing financial support, products, and expertise to the research of influential thought leaders in the life sciences, diagnostics, and chemical analysis space. To learn more, visit the Agilent Thought Leader Award webpage.