The manufacturing of recombinant protein-based biopharmaceuticals is a complex, labor and capital intensive endeavor. It currently is accepted that the use of mammalian cells is a requirement for the production of most human proteins, which typically contain extensive post-translational modifications that are not performed by prokaryotes and single-celled eukaryotes. Although mammalian cells such as Chinese hamster ovary cells and baby hamster kidney cells can faithfully biosynthesize most human proteins, the efficiency is dramatically lower than is achieved by bacterial or yeast cells. Of the recombinant proteins currently marketed, coagulation factor VIII is manufactured with the lowest efficiency and is by far the most expensive on a per unit mass basis. Other expensive and difficult to manufacture biopharmaceuticals include the other coagulation factors (e.g. factors IX and VIIa), interferon, and hormone-based cytokines. The goal of the current application is to develop a technology that can improve the production volume and pharmacy price of these difficult to manufacture recombinant biologics. Expression Therapeutics has developed a new baby hamster kidney-derived (BHK) cell line, designated BHK-MS, which can be cultured and expanded indefinitely in serum and blood product-free medium under suspension bioreactor conditions. In the current studies, we are 1) developing and validating the suspension adapted BHK-MS cell line for superior coagulation factor VIII and factor IX production, and 2) performing a pilot-scale manufacturing run and analyzing the biochemical and pharmaceutical characteristics of BHK-MS biosynthesized recombinant factor VIII and factor IX, which will serve as a model, difficult to manufacture biopharmaceuticals.
The long-term commercial objective of the current project is to commercialize a suspension cell-based biomanufacturing platform designed for improved volumetric productivity of complex, hard to manufacture biologics. Low-yield manufacturing processes currently in place often result in limited product availability and high-product costs. Expression Therapeutics has developed a patent-pending cell line designed for efficient manufacturing of recombinant biologics. The studies proposed herein are designed to provide proof-of-concept of the efficiency and scalability, as well as, rigorous preclinical validation and characterization of this novel manufacturing platform.
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