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Nakazawa T.,University of Shizuoka | Ishiuchi K.,University of Shizuoka | Praseuth A.,Biologics Process Development | Noguchi H.,University of Shizuoka | And 2 more authors.
ChemBioChem | Year: 2012

Fungal genomes carry many gene clusters seemingly capable of natural product biosynthesis, yet most clusters remain silent. This places a major constraint on the conventional approach of cloning these genes in more amenable heterologous host for the natural product biosynthesis. One way to overcome this difficulty is to activate the silent gene clusters within the context of the target fungus. Here, we successfully activated a silent polyketide biosynthetic gene cluster in Aspergillus oryzae by overexpressing a transcriptional regulator found within the cluster from a plasmid. This strategy allowed us to isolate a new polyketide product and to efficiently decipher its biosynthetic pathway. Through this exercise, we also discovered unexpected activities of the biosynthetic enzymes found in the cluster. These results indicate that our approach would be valuable for isolating novel natural products and engineering analogues of comparable, if not more potent, bioactivity. © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


Amanullah A.,Biologics Process Development | Amanullah A.,Genentech | Otero J.M.,Biologics Process Development | Mikola M.,Biologics Process Development | And 9 more authors.
Biotechnology and Bioengineering | Year: 2010

With increasing timeline pressures to get therapeutic and vaccine candidates into the clinic, resource intensive approaches such as the use of shake flasks and bench-top bioreactors may limit the design space for experimentation to yield highly productive processes. The need to conduct large numbers of experiments has resulted in the use of miniaturized high-throughput (HT) technology for process development. One such high-throughput system is the SimCell™ platform, a robotically driven, cell culture bioreactor system developed by BioProcessors Corp. This study describes the use of the SimCell™ micro-bioreactor technology for fed-batch cultivation of a GS-CHO transfectant expressing a model IgG4 monoclonal antibody. Cultivations were conducted in gas-permeable chambers based on a micro-fluidic design, with six micro-bioreactors (MBs) per micro-bioreactor array (MBA). Online, non-invasive measurement of total cell density, pH and dissolved oxygen (DO) was performed. One hundred fourteen parallel MBs (19 MBAs) were employed to examine process reproducibility and scalability at shake flask, 3- and 100-L bioreactor scales. The results of the study demonstrate that the Sim-Cell™ platform operated under fed-batch conditions could support viable cell concentrations up to least 12 × 106 cells/mL. In addition, both intra-MB (MB to MB) as well as intra-MBA (MBA to MBA) culture performance was found to be highly reproducible. The intra-MB and -MBA variability was calculated for each measurement as the coefficient of variation defined as CV (%)=(standard deviation/mean) x 100. The % CV values for most intra-MB and intra-MBA measurements were generally under 10% and the intra-MBA values were slightly lower than those for intra-MB. Cell growth, process parameters, metabolic and protein titer profiles were also compared to those from shake flask, bench-top, and pilot scale bioreactor cultivations and found to be within ±20% of the historical averages. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Zhao L.,University of Minnesota | Fu H.-Y.,University of Minnesota | Zhou W.,Biologics Process Development | Hu W.-S.,University of Minnesota
Engineering in Life Sciences | Year: 2015

The productivity of cell culture manufacturing for biologics has increased momentously in the past decades. Increasingly, the process research efforts are devoted into improving product quality and consistency. Consistent process performance and successful implementation of quality by design practice requires well-utilized process analytical technology. This review summarizes recent progress and current status of bioprocess monitoring. Many sensors for bioprocess monitoring have been available for decades while new ones, especially spectrometric sensors, are making their way into cell culture bioprocesses. On-line sampling devices have grown mature in the past decade thus making many instruments traditionally used for off-line analysis available for at-line use. With a general trend of using better defined medium for cell cultivation and increasing emphasis of process analytical tools, the spectrometric methods are also making headway in cell culture process monitoring. The integration of those sensing technologies will be important to advance the real-time monitoring of the state of cellular physiology for the control for process consistency and product quality. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


Chmielowski R.A.,Biologics Process Development | Meissner S.,Biologics Process Development | Roush D.,Biologics Process Development | Linden T.O.,Biologics Process Development | And 3 more authors.
Biotechnology Progress | Year: 2014

Clearance of aggregates during protein purification is increasingly paramount as protein aggregates represent one of the major impurities in biopharmaceutical products. Aggregates, especially dimer species, represent a significant challenge for purification processing since aggregate separation coupled with high purity protein recovery can be difficult to accomplish. Biochemical characterization of the aggregate species from the hydrophobic interaction and cation exchange chromatography elution peaks revealed two different charged populations, i.e. heterogeneous charged aggregates, which led to further challenges for chromatographic removal. This paper compares multimodal versus conventional cation exchange or hydrophobic chromatography methodologies to remove heterogeneous aggregates. A full, mixed level factorial design of experiment strategy together with high throughput experimentation was employed to rapidly evaluate chromatographic parameters such as pH, conductivity, and loading. A variety of operating conditions were identified for the multimodal chromatography step, which lead to effective removal of two different charged populations of aggregate species. This multimodal chromatography step was incorporated into a monoclonal antibody purification process and successfully implemented at commercial manufacturing scale. © 2014 American Institute of Chemical Engineers.


Agren R.,Chalmers University of Technology | Otero J.M.,Chalmers University of Technology | Otero J.M.,Biologics Process Development | Nielsen J.,Chalmers University of Technology
Journal of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology | Year: 2013

In this work, we describe the application of a genome-scale metabolic model and flux balance analysis for the prediction of succinic acid overproduction strategies in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The top three single gene deletion strategies, Δmdh1, Δoac1, and Δdic1, were tested using knock-out strains cultivated anaerobically on glucose, coupled with physiological and DNA microarray characterization. While Δmdh1 and Δoac1 strains failed to produce succinate, Δdic1 produced 0.02 C-mol/C-mol glucose, in close agreement with model predictions (0.03 C-mol/C-mol glucose). Transcriptional profiling suggests that succinate formation is coupled to mitochondrial redox balancing, and more specifically, reductive TCA cycle activity. While far from industrial titers, this proof-of-concept suggests that in silico predictions coupled with experimental validation can be used to identify novel and non-intuitive metabolic engineering strategies. © 2013 Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology.


Roush D.J.,Biologics Process Development | Myrold A.,Biologics Process Development | Burnham M.S.,WuXi AppTec | Hughes J.V.,WuXi AppTec
Biotechnology Progress | Year: 2015

Virus filtration (VF) is a key step in an overall viral clearance process since it has been demonstrated to effectively clear a wide range of mammalian viruses with a log reduction value (LRV)>4. The potential to achieve higher LRV from virus retentive filters has historically been examined using bacteriophage surrogates, which commonly demonstrated a potential of>9 LRV when using high titer spikes (e.g. 1010 PFU/mL). However, as the filter loading increases, one typically experiences significant decreases in performance and LRV. The 9 LRV value is markedly higher than the current expected range of 4-5 LRV when utilizing mammalian retroviruses on virus removal filters (Miesegaes et al., Dev Biol (Basel) 2010;133:3-101). Recent values have been reported in the literature (Stuckey et al., Biotech Progr 2014;30:79-85) of LRV in excess of 6 for PPV and XMuLV although this result appears to be atypical. LRV for VF with therapeutic proteins could be limited by several factors including process limits (flux decay, load matrix), virus spike level and the analytical methods used for virus detection (i.e. the Limits of Quantitation), as well as the virus spike quality. Research was conducted using the Xenotropic-Murine Leukemia Virus (XMuLV) for its direct relevance to the most commonly cited document, the International Conference of Harmonization (ICH) Q5A (International Conference on Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Registration of Pharmaceuticals for Human Use, Geneva, Switzerland, 1999) for viral safety evaluations. A unique aspect of this work is the independent evaluation of the impact of retrovirus quality and virus spike level on VF performance and LRV. The VF studies used XMuLV preparations purified by either ultracentrifugation (Ultra 1) or by chromatographic processes that yielded a more highly purified virus stock (Ultra 2). Two monoclonal antibodies (Mabs) with markedly different filtration characteristics and with similar levels of aggregate (<1.5%) were evaluated with the Ultra 1 and Ultra 2 virus preparations utilizing the Planova 20 N, a small virus removal filter. Impurities in the virus preparation ultimately limited filter loading as measured by determining the volumetric loading condition where 75% flux decay is observed versus initial conditions (V75). This observation occurred with both Mabs with the difference in virus purity more pronounced when very high spike levels were used (>5 vol/vol %). Significant differences were seen for the process performance over a number of lots of the less-pure Ultra 1 virus preparations. Experiments utilizing a developmental lot of the chromatographic purified XMuLV (Ultra 2 Development lot) that had elevated levels of host cell residuals (vs. the final Ultra 2 preparations) suggest that these contaminant residuals can impact virus filter fouling, even if the virus prep is essentially monodisperse. Process studies utilizing an Ultra 2 virus with substantially less host cell residuals and highly monodispersed virus particles demonstrated superior performance and an LRV in excess of 7.7 log10. A model was constructed demonstrating the linear dependence of filtration flux versus filter loading which can be used to predict the V75 for a range of virus spike levels conditions using this highly purified virus. Fine tuning the virus spike level with this model can ultimately maximize the LRV for the virus filter step, essentially adding the LRV equivalent of another process step (i.e. protein A or CEX chromatography). © 2014 American Institute of Chemical Engineers.


Otero J.M.,Chalmers University of Technology | Otero J.M.,Technical University of Denmark | Otero J.M.,Biologics Process Development | Cimini D.,The Second University of Naples | And 7 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Saccharomyces cerevisiae is the most well characterized eukaryote, the preferred microbial cell factory for the largest industrial biotechnology product (bioethanol), and a robust commerically compatible scaffold to be exploitted for diverse chemical production. Succinic acid is a highly sought after added-value chemical for which there is no native pre-disposition for production and accmulation in S. cerevisiae. The genome-scale metabolic network reconstruction of S. cerevisiae enabled in silico gene deletion predictions using an evolutionary programming method to couple biomass and succinate production. Glycine and serine, both essential amino acids required for biomass formation, are formed from both glycolytic and TCA cycle intermediates. Succinate formation results from the isocitrate lyase catalyzed conversion of isocitrate, and from the α-keto-glutarate dehydrogenase catalyzed conversion of α-keto-glutarate. Succinate is subsequently depleted by the succinate dehydrogenase complex. The metabolic engineering strategy identified included deletion of the primary succinate consuming reaction, Sdh3p, and interruption of glycolysis derived serine by deletion of 3-phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase, Ser3p/Ser33p. Pursuing these targets, a multi-gene deletion strain was constructed, and directed evolution with selection used to identify a succinate producing mutant. Physiological characterization coupled with integrated data analysis of transcriptome data in the metabolically engineered strain were used to identify 2nd-round metabolic engineering targets. The resulting strain represents a 30-fold improvement in succinate titer, and a 43-fold improvement in succinate yield on biomass, with only a 2.8-fold decrease in the specific growth rate compared to the reference strain. Intuitive genetic targets for either over-expression or interruption of succinate producing or consuming pathways, respectively, do not lead to increased succinate. Rather, we demonstrate how systems biology tools coupled with directed evolution and selection allows non-intuitive, rapid and substantial re-direction of carbon fluxes in S. cerevisiae, and hence show proof of concept that this is a potentially attractive cell factory for over-producing different platform chemicals. © 2013 Otero et al.


PubMed | The Mintaka Foundation for Medical Research, Ghent University, Biogrammatics, Inc., LifeSci Partners LLC and 3 more.
Type: | Journal: Protein expression and purification | Year: 2016

In the continued absence of an effective anti-HIV vaccine, approximately 2 million new HIV infections occur every year, with over 95% of these in developing countries. Calls have been made for the development of anti-HIV drugs that can be formulated for topical use to prevent HIV transmission during sexual intercourse. Because these drugs are principally destined for use in low-resource regions, achieving production costs that are as low as possible is an absolute requirement. 5P12-RANTES, an analog of the human chemokine protein RANTES/CCL5, is a highly potent HIV entry inhibitor which acts by achieving potent blockade of the principal HIV coreceptor, CCR5. Here we describe the development and optimization of a scalable low-cost production process for 5P12-RANTES based on expression in Pichia pastoris. At pilot (150 L) scale, this cGMP compliant process yielded 30 g of clinical grade 5P12-RANTES. As well as providing sufficient material for the first stage of clinical development, this process represents an important step towards achieving production of 5P12-RANTES at a cost and scale appropriate to meet needs for topical HIV prevention worldwide.


PubMed | Biologics Process Development
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Biotechnology progress | Year: 2015

Virus filtration (VF) is a key step in an overall viral clearance process since it has been demonstrated to effectively clear a wide range of mammalian viruses with a log reduction value (LRV)>4. The potential to achieve higher LRV from virus retentive filters has historically been examined using bacteriophage surrogates, which commonly demonstrated a potential of>9 LRV when using high titer spikes (e.g. 10(10) PFU/mL). However, as the filter loading increases, one typically experiences significant decreases in performance and LRV. The 9 LRV value is markedly higher than the current expected range of 4-5 LRV when utilizing mammalian retroviruses on virus removal filters (Miesegaes et al., Dev Biol (Basel) 2010;133:3-101). Recent values have been reported in the literature (Stuckey et al., Biotech Progr 2014;30:79-85) of LRV in excess of 6 for PPV and XMuLV although this result appears to be atypical. LRV for VF with therapeutic proteins could be limited by several factors including process limits (flux decay, load matrix), virus spike level and the analytical methods used for virus detection (i.e. the Limits of Quantitation), as well as the virus spike quality. Research was conducted using the Xenotropic-Murine Leukemia Virus (XMuLV) for its direct relevance to the most commonly cited document, the International Conference of Harmonization (ICH) Q5A (International Conference on Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Registration of Pharmaceuticals for Human Use, Geneva, Switzerland, 1999) for viral safety evaluations. A unique aspect of this work is the independent evaluation of the impact of retrovirus quality and virus spike level on VF performance and LRV. The VF studies used XMuLV preparations purified by either ultracentrifugation (Ultra 1) or by chromatographic processes that yielded a more highly purified virus stock (Ultra 2). Two monoclonal antibodies (Mabs) with markedly different filtration characteristics and with similar levels of aggregate (<1.5%) were evaluated with the Ultra 1 and Ultra 2 virus preparations utilizing the Planova 20 N, a small virus removal filter. Impurities in the virus preparation ultimately limited filter loading as measured by determining the volumetric loading condition where 75% flux decay is observed versus initial conditions (V75). This observation occurred with both Mabs with the difference in virus purity more pronounced when very high spike levels were used (>5 vol/vol %). Significant differences were seen for the process performance over a number of lots of the less-pure Ultra 1 virus preparations. Experiments utilizing a developmental lot of the chromatographic purified XMuLV (Ultra 2 Development lot) that had elevated levels of host cell residuals (vs. the final Ultra 2 preparations) suggest that these contaminant residuals can impact virus filter fouling, even if the virus prep is essentially monodisperse. Process studies utilizing an Ultra 2 virus with substantially less host cell residuals and highly monodispersed virus particles demonstrated superior performance and an LRV in excess of 7.7 log10 . A model was constructed demonstrating the linear dependence of filtration flux versus filter loading which can be used to predict the V75 for a range of virus spike levels conditions using this highly purified virus. Fine tuning the virus spike level with this model can ultimately maximize the LRV for the virus filter step, essentially adding the LRV equivalent of another process step (i.e. protein A or CEX chromatography).


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