Within the last week the capital of the Netherlands was not only a place to witness the approaching spring in all its flower colors along the 100+ km of water channels but also hosting the 2018 BioProcess International European Summit.
As part of the 3-day conference there were different streams with numerous talks about vaccines, viral safety, downstream and upstream processing but also cell line development (CLD) and cell line engineering.
Within the stream of CLD & engineering the focus was set on monoclonality assessment and improving cell line generation platforms. The common aim is to shorten time-lines and to control every single step of CLD.
In his talk New parts and systems for CHO cell synthetic biology, Prof. David James (University of Sheffield) addressed these issues and reminded the community that future approaches of CLD must consider all aspects, ranging from the screening of vector elements to choosing the right genomic editing tools and applying early high-throughput screening of clones.
The possibilities to design CHO cells for stability and improved product quality with CRISPR/Cas9 were shown up by Helene F. Kildegaard (NNF Center for Biosustainability, DTU) whereas other talks revealed that genome editing finds also more and more application in industrial CLD. Furthermore, cell engineering with miRNAs is a working strategy for improved protein production in industrial CLD as presented by Simon Fischer (Boehringer Ingelheim).
A good example for the endless expansion of the CHO tool-box was given by Mark Trautwein from Bayer. He explained how proline auxotrophy, which is given for all CHO cells, can be used as a metabolic selection system to generate high producing clones.
It was also very impressing to hear how a company specialized in CLD plans to generate and characterize ~100 cell lines per year. Christoph Zehe from Sartorious Stedim Cellca made clear that a continuous improvement of cell platforms is the basis for that challenging task. Generating such a high number of cell lines demands early high-throughput screening for suitable clones with high productivity, cell growth and desired product quality. The presentation of Christine DeMaria (Sanofi) addressed this issue and revealed that data driven CLD and translation of big data information can enhance the cell line selection process significantly.
Besides scientific talks there were also guided tours with short presentations and discussions on chosen posters. The poster of ESR Thomas Amann was selected for one of the poster tours and participants could get an insight of how he was using CRISPR/Cas9 to design N-glycosylation structures on CHO-produced EPO and rituximab.