Cell Culture Media

Making Media a Priority: An Interview with Susan Riley of Advanced Bioprocessing

Susan Riley is vice president and general manager of Advanced Bioprocessing. It’s been a year since Thermo Fisher Scientific’s acquisition of the Advanced Bioprocessing business from Becton Dickinson (BD). Why did Thermo Fisher see the Advanced Bioprocessing (AB) business as a good fit with its life-science offerings? AB has a significant portfolio in premium supplements for cell culture and microbial fermentation. The AB business was seen as a good fit for several reasons: It goes hand-in-glove with Gibco media, for…

Innovative Strategies for Cell Culture Media Preparation

Although the handling and preparation of cell culture media can seem routine, a number of risks are associated with such operations. Identification and mitigation of associated risks can help ensure consistency of performance, minimize likelihood of contamination, and protect employees while enabling greater efficiencies in upstream processes. Here we describe a number of strategies for reducing risks and streamlining media-related workflows. Simplifying Handling of Cell Culture Powders Media preparation typically is quite labor intensive and poses risks related to containment…

The Critical Role of Media in Intensified Upstream Processes

As the need for novel therapeutics increases, so does pressure on the biopharmaceutical industry to improve productivity, accelerate development, increase, and reduce costs — all while ensuring drug product quality. Upstream intensification strategies such as perfusion culture can address those challenges and achieve higher protein titers that can translate into higher throughput, improved flexibility, and compressed timelines. Successful implementation of perfusion culture or the transition to perfusion from fed-batch culture requires a different and strategic approach to media selection, not…

Streamlined Serum-Free Adaptation of CHO-DG44 Cells: Using a Novel Chemically Defined Medium

Monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) have radically transformed the treatment of many chronic diseases, mainly in the fields of oncology and autoimmunity. The overwhelming majority of therapeutic MAbs are manufactured from recombinant Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell lines. The original CHO cell line was isolated in the 1950s, and since the early 1980s, it has become the workhorse of the biopharmaceutical industry. The CHO-DG44 strain was generated after several rounds of mutagenesis that deleted both copies of dihydrofolate reductase (dhfr) genes by…

A Challenging Future for Fetal Bovine Serum

Serum and other blood-derived products have been used widely in pharmaceutical research for many years. Use of these materials has contributed to many different advances in human and veterinary health, and they continue to have an important role in drug development. Fetal bovine serum (FBS) has had a specific role in the culture of mammalian cells for over 60 years. It is proven to be a useful tool for a broad spectrum of applications because it supports a large range…

The Need for Adherent Cell Manufacturing: Production Platform and Media Strategies Drive Cell Production Economics

Most commercial biopharmaceuticals originated from academic research laboratories and start-up development laboratories. Despite such products having differences in modalities and targeted disease indications, and whether their target patient populations are relatively small or approaching blockbuster status, at a key point in development, biopharmaceutical production must scale up from laboratory to commercial production. That movement from research to development and then to manufacturing forces attention on economics and speed to market, and it drives innovative approaches to producing biopharmaceutical cell compositions…

Cell Culture Media: An Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient or Ancillary Material?

Cell-based therapies are used to treat diseases that require the replacement of diseased, dysfunctional, and injured cells (1). To produce these therapies, a wide range of reagents and materials such as antibodies, growth factors, and enzymes are used in their manufacturing processes. Such necessary materials are administered through a cell culture medium. Active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) are the main ingredients that make products therapeutic. Ancillary materials (AMs) and raw materials (RMs) are essential components used during production but are not…

Enhanced Galactosylation of Monoclonal Antibodies: Using Medium Supplements and Precursors of UDP-Galactose, Part 2

In Part 1 of this report, we described our development of a high-throughput assay for analyzing monoclonal antibody (MAb) glycans and how we used it to evaluate the effects of medium supplements on galactosylation of MAbs produced by two different cell lines (1). This month, we examine galactosylation of a MAb produced by a third cell line. A discussion follows on the benefits of this high-throughput assay before we highlight the similarities and differences in galactosylation among the three MAbs…

Enhanced Galactosylation of Monoclonal Antibodies: Using Medium Supplements and Precursors of UDP-Galactose, Part 1

The biopharmaceutical industry needs better understanding of how monoclonal antibody (MAb) glycosylation is influenced by components in cultivation media — and it needs methods to exert some control over the structure of MAb glycans. That structure can affect MAb function. Thus, a high-throughput (HTP) assay is needed for characterizing MAb glycosylation so that developers can observe the effects of cultivation conditions on MAb glycosylation rapidly, with a goal of producing MAbs that have a desired glycan structure. The method also…

Simplification of Fed-Batch Processes with a Single-Feed Strategy

Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells commonly are used to produce recombinant proteins such as monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) for research, diagnostic, and therapeutic purposes. Culture processes typically rely on a fed-batch approach in which a basal medium enables initial cell growth. Concentrated feeds are used to prevent nutrient depletion, thereby extending culture duration and improving cell growth, viability, and protein titer. A neutral pH feed is desirable because culture pH should remain stable after feedings. The extremely low solubility of l-tyrosine…