Culture Development

Better Cells for Better Health

Since its inception 35 years ago, the biennial meeting of the European Society for Animal Cell Technology (ESACT) has built on a tradition of combining basic science and applications into industrial biotechnology to become the international reference event in its subject matter. Every other year, this gathering of academics and industry professionals features a famously exciting social program and an extensive vendor/supplier exhibition specific to animal cell technology. ESACT meetings are much-anticipated international venues for information exchange, inspiration, networking, and…

High-Yield Production of PASylated Human Growth Hormone Using Secretory E. coli Technology

Since the 1985 approval of the first recombinant human growth hormone (hGH, such as Protropin/somatrem human growth hormone from Genentech, now Roche), the number of clinical indications for therapy with hGH has steadily increased (1). That led to a highly successful drug with more than US$3 billion sales in 2011 (2). Even so, hGH shares a common problem with most other first-generation protein therapeutics: a very short plasma half-life of just about two hours in humans. Because such biologics are…

Screening Yeastolate Raw Material Used in Insect Cell Culture Media

Insect cell culture is widely used as an industrial platform in recombinant protein production for research and diagnostics (1, 3,4,5). Many commercial yeastolate products are intended as nutritional supplements for not only insect cell culture, but also for mammalian cell culture and bacterial fermentation applications (6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15). Yeastolate plays an important role in modern biological production because it can be very effective in promoting insect cell growth and enhancing production of recombinant proteins. The product is known to contain amino acids,…

Enhancing Data Quality with a Partly Controllable System at Shake Flask Scale

    In bioprocess development, small-scale systems are used to identify appropriate cell lines, media, and feeds before applying more expensive, controlled cultivation systems at larger scales. Process development relies on data generated in such uncontrolled small-scale cultivation systems, so comparability is an issue. Shake flasks are commonly used for small-scale culture of mammalian suspensions. Incubators provide a suitable environment with carbon dioxide (CO2) supply and humidity control and ensure sufficient oxygen transfer and homogenization of cell suspension by appropriate…

Fed-Batch Cell Culture Process Optimization

Most biopharmaceutical production platforms are based on fed-batch cell culture protocols, which can support high volumetric productivity while maintaining low operational complexity (1). The industry is interested in developing or refining high-titer cell culture processes to meet increasing market demands and reduce manufacturing costs (2). Although advancements in cell engineering have enabled development of high-performing recombinant cell lines (3,4,5,6), improvements in cell culture media and process parameter settings are required to realize the maximum production potentials of those cells (7,–8).…

Metabolic Process Engineering

Metabolic process engineering (MPE) was developed at Bristol-Myers Squibb Company as a tool to effectively control and optimize industrial cell culture processes used for production of biological drugs. A fundamental need was identified to introduce manipulations to the metabolism of production cell lines without genetic engineering. Optimization goals for production cell line performance include, for example, volumetric productivity, control of product quality attributes and by-product formation, and improved process scalability. With MPE, we could achieve targeted changes to cellular metabolism…

Differential Cell Culture Media for Single-Cell Cloning

    Recombinant therapeutic protein production using cell culture systems is a US$70 billion market. Most biotherapeutic proteins, including monoclonal antibodies (MAbs), are produced in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells, which can generate the posttranslational modifications required for full biological function. Single-cell cloning is an important step in generating homogenous recombinant protein-producing mammalian cell lines. Recent advances in media development technologies have enabled limiting dilution cloning (LDC) and protein production in a serum-free environment to meet regulatory requirements.   LDC…

Toward Defined Culture Conditions for Pluripotent Stem Cells, Part 2

    At the UK National Stem Cell Network ‘s annual meeting in York, UK on 31 March 2011, a workshop organized by STEMCELL Technologies workshop addressed defined media for human stem cell culture. As illustrated in Part 1 (October 2011), it is critical to understand the pathways that maintain genetic stability during hES self-renewal, which is a prerequisite for all clinical applications. Because physiological DNA damage can take place during normal cellular proliferation, and accumulation of unrepaired DNA could…

Toward Defined Culture Conditions for Pluripotent Stem Cells, Part 1

    On 31 March 2011, ~50 delegates attended a workshop organized by STEMCELL Technologies on implications of standard defined culture conditions for embryonic and induced-pluripotent human stem cells as part of the annual meeting of the UK National Stem Cell Network in York, UK. Researchers from both academia and industry need to develop a better understanding of those implications. Our company wanted to give them a better appreciation of key challenges facing ancillary material suppliers who manufacture standard defined…

Putting It All into Perspective

    As part of The Automation Partnership’s “20 Years of Automated Cell Culture” series, science writer Sue Pearson interviewed Dr. John Birch, the chief scientific officer of biopharmaceuticals for Lonza Custom Manufacturing APIS based in Slough, UK. Birch has been with that company since 1996, Before that, he held senior technical positions at Tate and Lyle, GD Searle, and Celltech. Birch has a PhD in microbiology from London University, where he also spent a period lecturing before moving into…