Kerry Group, National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT) and ValitaCell today announce a strategic collaboration to validate the role of protein hydrolysates in cell culture media during the commercial manufacture of biotherapeutics.
The project is supported by Enterprise Ireland under the Innovation Partnership programme.
The manufacture of biotherapeutics at a commercial scale is a complex process that involves the growth of mammalian cells in a multi-component liquid media. Kerry has commercialised protein hydrolysates from various sources as bioactive components to be used in mammalian cell cultures for the large-scale production of biotherapeutics including monoclonal antibodies. The raw material for the production of these hydrolysates include plant and microbial sources such as soy, yeast, cotton and wheat. However, the variability in the performance of these hydrolysates is not well understood and can be due to the source material and the batch. The hydrolysates are chemically undefined and contain complex composition dependent on the raw material used.
The challenge for the biopharmaceutical industry is that cell culture media is one of the most difficult components to control.
ValitaCell will provide access to its ChemStress® platform, a novel technology to characterise the behaviour of cells using a panel of specific, small molecule chemical stressors. The assay is carried out on a multiwell plate and enables the rapid screening of the robustness of cells within the specific environment of each well.
The programme of work will be conducted at the state of the art facilities at NIBRT under the guidance of Prof. Michael Butler.
“ValitaCell have invested significant resources in our ChemStress® platform to provide scientists with aBiological prism of their manufacturing environment, in microscale. Working with Kerry Group and NIBRT on this specific validation problem is a great opportunity to demonstrate the power of our technology in the Cell Culture media component sector” Dr. Jerry Clifford, CEO at ValitaCell.
“We are delighted at NIBRT to receive funding from Enterprise Ireland in collaboration with the Kerry Group and ValitaCell to enable a study of the bioactive properties of plant and microbial sourced hydrolysates using the ChemStress® platform technology. This research will enable an understanding of the functional role of hydrolysates in cell culture media that will promote the efficient production of biotherapeutics from bioprocesses”. Prof Michael Butler, Principal Investigator in the Cell Technology Group at NIBRT”