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May 01, 2011 (Vol. 31, No. 9)

Orbital Shake Bioreactors Take on Scale-Up

ExcellGene's Platform Includes No Moving Parts, Low Shear Force, and High Gas Transfer

  • Expression and Manufacturing

    Before ExcellGene became known for its orbital shake bioreactors, the company pioneered technologies to resolve problems associated with expressing and manufacturing recombinant proteins from mammalian cells. ExcellGene’s technologies cover vectors, gene transfer systems, cell hosts, screening platforms for cells and processes, and scale-up principles.

    The company’s protein-expression technology produces high-yielding clonal cell lines in seven weeks, Dr. Wurm reports. Once a cell line is established, gram-per-liter quantities of any recombinant protein can be manufactured within a few weeks, thereby shortening product and process development time lines.

    As a service provider, ExcellGene generates upstream cell culture processes for customers. Among the services offered are transfection, selection and isolation of clonal cell populations, evaluation of primary clones for productivity in serum-free suspension culture, and banking of cell populations as prebanks, masterbanks, or working cell banks. The company recently set up a cGMP facility to manufacture proteins and other active pharmaceutical ingredients for clients.

    Two cell host systems, CHOExpress and HUGExpress (derived from HEK-293 cells), contribute to speedy protein production. The cell lines are optimized for efficient DNA uptake and high protein expression, grow to high density in suspension cultures, and are easy to scale up. “We are extremely good at taking a client’s DNA and giving them a purified protein in a short time,” explains Dr. Wurm.

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