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Cary, NC, United States

Manufacture of recombinant proteins from mammalian cell lines requires the use of bioreactor systems at scales of up to 20,000 L. The cost and complexity of such systems can prohibit their extensive use during the process to construct and select the manufacturing cell line. It is therefore common practice to develop a model of the production process in a small scale vessel, such as a shake-flask, where lower costs, ease of handling, and higher throughput are possible. This model can then be used to select a small number of cell lines for further evaluation in bioreactor culture. Here, we extend our previous work investigating cell line construction strategies to assess how well the behavior of cell lines in such a shake-flask assessment predicts behavior in the associated bioreactor production process. A panel of 29 GS-CHO cell lines, all producing the same antibody, were selected to include a mixture of high and low producers from a pool of 175 transfectants. Assessment of this panel in 10 L bioreactor culture revealed wide variation in parameters including growth, productivity, and metabolite utilization. In general, those cell lines which were high producing in the bioreactor cultures had also been higher producing in an earlier shake-flask assessment. However, some changes in rank position of the evaluated cell lines were seen between the two systems. A potential explanation of these observations is discussed and approaches to improve the predictability of assessments used for cell line selection are considered. © 2010 American Institute of Chemical Engineers

Transfectants with a wide range of cellular phenotypes are obtained during the process of cell line generation. For the successful manufacture of a therapeutic protein, a means is required to identify a cell line with desirable growth and productivity characteristics from this phenotypically wide-ranging transfectant population. This identification process is on the critical path for first-in-human studies. We have stringently examined a typical selection strategy used to isolate cell lines suitable for cGMP manufacturing. One-hundred and seventy-five transfectants were evaluated as they progressed through the different assessment stages of the selection strategy. High producing cell lines, suitable for cGMP manufacturing, were identified. However, our analyses showed that the frequency of isolation of the highest producing cell lines was low and that ranking positions were not consistent between each assessment stage, suggesting that there is potential to improve upon the strategy. Attempts to increase the frequency of isolation of the 10 highest producing cell lines, by in silico analysis of alternative selection strategies, were unsuccessful. We identified alternative strategies with similar predictive capabilities to the typical selection strategy. One alternate strategy required fewer cell lines to be progressed at the assessment stages but the stochastic nature of the models means that cell line numbers are likely to change between programs. In summary, our studies illuminate the potential for improvement to this and future selection strategies, based around use of assessments that are more informative or that reduce variance, paving the way to improved efficiency of generation of manufacturing cell lines. © 2010 American Institute of Chemical Engineers

Bone marrow stromal cell cultures contain multipotent cells that may have therapeutic utility for tissue restoration; however, the identity of the cell that maintains this function remains poorly characterized. We have utilized a unique model of murine bone marrow stroma in combination with liquid chromatography mass spectrometry to compare the nuclear, cytoplasmic and membrane associated proteomes of multipotent (MSC) (CD105+) and non-multipotent (CD105-) stromal cells. Among the 25 most reliably identified proteins, 10 were verified by both real-time PCR and Western Blot to be highly enriched, in CD105+ cells and were members of distinct biological pathways and functional networks. Five of these proteins were also identified as potentially expressed in human MSC derived from both standard and serum free human stromal cultures. The quantitative amount of each protein identified in human stromal cells was only minimally affected by media conditions but varied highly between bone marrow donors. This study provides further evidence of heterogeneity among cultured bone marrow stromal cells and identifies potential candidate proteins that may prove useful for identifying and quantifying both murine and human MSC in vitro.

The mammalian antibody repertoire comprises immunoglobulin (Ig) molecules of multiple isotypes and subclasses with varying functional properties. Among the four subclasses of the human IgG isotype, we found that IgG2 exhibits a particular resistance to human and bacterial proteases that readily cleave the IgG1 hinge region in vitro. Autoantibodies (IgGs) that recognize points of proteolytic cleavage in the IgG1 hinge are widespread in the healthy human population, suggesting that IgG1 fragmentation and the generation of cryptic antigens for host immune surveillance commonly occur in vivo. We previously reported that autoantibodies to cleaved IgG1s can restore Fc-mediated effector functions that are lost following proteolytic cleavage of the hinge. In contrast, it was not possible to demonstrate an analogous cohort of autoantibodies to IgG2 hinge epitope analogs, and there appeared to be no functional component in human serum with the ability to reconstitute Fc effector functions to a cell-bound IgG2 fragment. Thus, the results indicate that among the IgG subclasses, human IgG2 is uniquely resistant to a number of known pathological proteases and that autoimmune recognition to potential cleavage points in the IgG2 hinge appears to be absent in human circulation.

Agency: National Science Foundation | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2016

The broader impact/commercial potential of this Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) project will be the development of an alternative to synthetic chemicals that are used to impart color to food. The food industry has a long history of using synthetic pigments that impart color to foods. However, there have been concerns about negative health impacts of some high volume synthetic colorants, and the food industry is increasingly interested in identifying colorants that are obtained from biological sources. This project will explore the technical and commercial feasibility of a class of naturally occurring pigments that have properties of color, stability, and safety that make them attractive as food colorants but for which a suitable source is not currently available. Based on six years of prior research, a potentially suitable botanical source of a red pigment has been identified, and now propose to develop a commercial process to produce the pigment from the botanical source. This SBIR Phase I project proposes to develop a proof-of-concept pilot-scale process for extracting and purifying a naturally occurring pigment from a source plant. The pigment, which has not previously been available in commercial quantities, will be produced from a selected variety of a major crop species. Using mechanical separations, food grade solvent extractions, and various commercially-available food-grade adsorbants the goal is to produce pigment under conditions that can be used for proof-of-concept testing in model food products. The pigment produced will be characterized by analytical chemistry methods as a prelude to seeking FDA approval to sell the pigment for food use. The extracted pigment will be tested for performance characteristics, and for thermal, pH, and light stability in a range of probable food applications.

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