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Major pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies have joined forces under the auspices of the Society for Biological Engineering (SBE, New York, NY, www.aiche.org/SBE) to make use of cell line research that is expected to increase the efficiencies of drug development.
Major pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies have joined forces under the auspices of the Society for Biological Engineering (SBE, New York, NY, www.aiche.org/SBE) to make use of cell line research that is expected to increase the efficiencies of drug development. The companies, including Boehringer Ingelheim (Ingelheim, Germany, www.boehringer-ingelheim.com), Bristol-Myers Squibb (New York, NY, www.bms.com), SAFC Biosciences (Lenexa, KS, www.sigmaaldrich.com/SAFC/Biosciences), and Schering Plough (Kenilworth, NJ, www.schering-plough.com), among others, say that this shared research shows great promise for increasing production of biological therapies.
The companies’ cooperative research involves the Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell line, which is used to produce about 70% of all biological products. Yet, compared with other mammals, available genetic data for the Chinese hamster is limited. Consortium members began pooling their resources in 2006 to support the ongoing precompetitive work of sequencing CHO cDNA. Each member company has designated a representative to the SBE’s project management committee and helps guide upcoming research. In return, consortium members receive periodic output of CHO chips, access to annotated data through cDNA libraries, quarterly reports, and semi-annual meetings that strengthen each companies’ independent efforts in drug development.
Through SBE, the research is being conducted by the University of Minnesota and the Bioprocessing Technology Institute in Singapore. The two principal investigators are Wei-Shou Hu, distinguished McKnight University Professor in chemical engineering and materials science at the University of Minnesota, and Miranda Yap, professor and executive director of the Bioprocessing Technology Institute at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research of Singapore.