Manufacturing recombinant proteins in kg-ton quantities using animal cells in bioreactors

Mammalian cells in bioreactors as production host are the focus of this review. We wish to briefly describe today's technical status and to highlight emerging trends in the manufacture of recombinant therapeutic proteins, focusing on Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells. CHO cells are the manufacturing host system of choice for more than 70% of protein pharmaceuticals on the market [21]. The current global capacity to grow mammalian cells in bioreactors stands at about 0.5 million liters, whereby the largest vessels can have a working volume of about 20,000l. We are focusing in this article on the upstream part of protein manufacturing. Over the past 25years, volumetric yields for recombinant cell lines have increased about 20-fold mainly as the result of improvements in media and bioprocess design. Future yield increases are expected to come from improved gene delivery methods, from improved, possibly genetically modified host systems, and from further improved bioprocesses in bioreactors. Other emerging trends in protein manufacturing that are discussed include the use of disposal bioreactors and transient gene expression. We specifically highlight here current research in our own laboratories.


Related material