Successful transfer of suspension-based process to a structured fixed-bed bioreactor
Due to scalability constraints encountered with adherent technologies, gene therapy manufacturers have moved towards suspension culture in stirred tank bioreactors. Although stirred tanks bioreactors provide more cells than a typical fixed-bed bioreactors, performance tend to be unpredictable and transfection efficiency and productivity are often reduced compared to adherent counterparts.
In this study ReiThera SRL in collaboration with Exothera SA and Univercells Technologies have decided to transfer a suspension process to produce adenovirus vectored COVID-19 vaccine from shake flask to the scale-X hydro fixed-bed bioreactor. This adherent technology has demonstrated a successful entrapment of HEK293 cells adapted to suspension making it one of the first dual platform available for viral manufacture.
Increased suspension-cell productivity compared to shake flask process
The results of the study demonstrated a higher specific productivity in the scale-X bioreactor compared to shake flask, reaching a 2-fold increase after minimal process adaptations. In addition to these promising productivities, we can observe an improved cell growth reproducibility and a reduced media consumption parameters enabling to enhance process efficiency and reduce overall manufacture costs.