September 2009

Rethinking Media Performance

    Fetal bovine serum (FBS) was — and in many cases still is — the supplement of choice to maintain the viability of mammalian cells in culture. However, there are considerable limitations to its use. In the early days of cell culture, the issues surrounding serum were mainly its variable performance and the potential to contaminate cultures with fungi, viruses, and bacteria. Early attempts to produce a serum-free medium (SFM) were academic exercises that usually relied on the use…

Preparing Bachelors of Science to Work in Bioprocessing

People employed in production and development for life science industries not only need solid knowledge of the scientific bases of modern biotechnology. They also have to be familiar with the working conditions and regulations applicable when working in the field of bioprocessing. Academic curricula in biotechnology and related fields such as bioprocess engineering traditionally prepare students for careers in basic research at public institutions such as universities or research institutes. Students typically study cell biology, biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology, bioinformatics,…

Global Marketplace

        Automated Chromatography   Product: Tecan Freedom EVO liquid handling workstation Applications: Resin and condition screening, bioreactor monitoring, sample preparation Features: Atoll RoboColumns miniaturized columns are prepacked with a resin of choice in a 96-array SBS format and integrated on a liquid handling robotic workstation. Eight columns are processed together for highly reproducible chromatographic separations. Fraction volumes ≥25 µL can be collected, providing sufficient data points to construct a chromatogram. The entire process can be automated, from…

Using Innovation to Drive Competitive Advantage

    Figure 1: () STOCKXPERT (WWW.STOCKXPERT.COM) After spending decades as the “sleepy” segment of the biopharmaceutical industry, vaccines are now seen as one of its highest growth segments. Major pharmaceutical companies — Novartis AG (www.novartis.com) and Pfizer, Inc. (www.pfizer.com), for example — are aggressively entering this area. Those already in it are expanding capacity and increasing business development activity. Indeed, access to the vaccines business was a major driver of Pfizer’s acquisition of Wyeth Pharmaceuticals (www.wyeth.com) (1). Several factors…

Maintaining Product Titer While Replacing Undefined Components in a CHO Culture System

    Proteins, hydrolysates, and lysates of plant or yeast origin are commonly used in cell culture media for large-scale manufacturing processes for human biotherapeutics. Lot-to-lot variability in the composition of such constituents is well established and can affect multiple biological performance indicators. Our goal was to replace an undefined, protein-containing medium with a chemically defined medium (meaning the chemical structure and concentration for each component in a formulation is known). Such a formulation should be free of protein and…