Simple modifications of a standard medium formulation can improve performance 2- to 3-fold. Even for well established CHO, hybridoma, and NS0 cells, for example, each individual clone may have unique nutritional requirements, and media optimization designed to meet those requirements can boost growth and protein/antibody expression.
HyClone has expanded its line of animal-component free, chemically defined media to include HyQ CDM4NS0, HyQ CDM4CHO, and HyQ CDM4MAb for therapeutic protein/Mab production in NS0, CHO, and hybridoma cells, respectively.
To facilitate cell culture optimization and scale-up, HyClone focused new product initiatives on improving process performance. In October the company launched HyQSphere microcarriers for adherent cell lines, aimed at optimizing scale-up for such cell lines as Vero and MDCK cells used in viral vaccine production.
Developed in collaboration with Baxter Biosciences (www. baxter.com), HyClone's Single-Use Bioreactor, designed for scalable mammalian cell culture in working volumes of 50 L to 1000 L will come to the market in April.
Invitrogen's line of Advanced Medium contains 10-fold less sera and includes Advanced RPMI, MEM, and D-MEM Medium products. Earlier this year, the company also introduced a new, freezing medium for mammalian cell cultures, called Recovery, aimed at improving workflows and results by enabling higher yields of recovered cells after storage in liquid nitrogen.
Efforts to lower the cost of cell culture are focusing, in large part, on a switch to disposable containers and devices for materials storage and transfer and cell culture processing. Invitrogen introduced its Universal Bag format this year, providing media in 1-L to 1000-L bags with four connector ports.
Media manufactured in HyClone's dedicated animal-component-free powder facility can be hydrated using the company's HyNetics module, a single-use, disposable system for automated production of liquid formulations. The production tanks contain large, sealed plastic bags, where the plastic film used to make the bags contains no animal components, which are filled through a closed transfer system. "Everything that comes into contact with the liquid product manufactured in HyNetics is disposable," says Pence.
Bray points to growing demand among Cambrex customers for disposable products throughout the process stream; i.e., products that can improve efficiency by eliminating the time and cost for cleaning validation and reduce the risk of contamination.
Cost-conserving measures in media production include "automation and optimal batch sizing for custom products" and "a more efficient supply chain throughout the operation, starting with receipt of raw materials through inventory and shipping of finished goods," says Bray.
"New technology for tracking materials, planning, and scheduling and testing have opened the door for operational improvements." Masterson emphasizes that cost savings "should not be limited to the product price component alone. Organizations now have the ability to utilize a single supplier for the whole of their media and related components across the continuum from bench-size quantity research all the way to full industrial production.
"Cost savings at this level comes in the form of multi-vendor consolidation, streamlined scale-up procedures, and reduction of qualification and validation testing requirements," she says.
At the research level, the growing use and diverse applications of stem cells are having a significant impact on the media market, as companies work to understand how best to optimize their growth.
For stem cell applications, "serum-free media that lack growth factors, cytokines, or artificial stimulators of proliferation will play an increasingly important role," says Siegel, pointing to the Cambrex' BioWhittaker X-VIVO serum-free media, which has been used in published studies to support the growth of CD34+ cells.
SAFC added two products to its Stemline media platform, T-Cell Expansion Medium and Mesenchymal Expansion Medium, and will launch Stemline Dendritic Maturation Medium in early 2006.
StemCell Technologies' (www.stemcell. com) product line includes StemSpan Serum-Free Expansion Medium (SFEM), StemSpan H3000, a chemically defined, animal-free medium that contains only human-derived or recombinant human proteins, and the StemSpan line of cytokine cocktails.