Cellcura signs HSA-free media deal with IDT for vacc development

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Stem cell, Cell biology, Biotechnology

CellCura has inked an agreement with IDT Biologika for the testing and adaptation of its protein-free (PF) media for the production of cell lines for vaccine manufacturing.

The agreement is the Norway-based company’s first outing with the newly patented technology, which it claims produces safer, more stable cell-lines for a variety of industrial bioproduction applications.

The media, which is made using pharmacopeial grade components, is designed to be completely free of protein or any other components of biological origin, specifically, because it does not contain human serum albumin (HAS).

This, CellCura claims, means that cell lines grown in the media are at no risk of being contaminated with blood born pathogens and are hence much safer to use for the production of vaccines and biopharmaceuticals.

The firm also says that because the composition of its media is so precisely defined it reduces batch-to-batch variation during production, which is not something that is possible with HAS-based medias.

Speaking at the announcement of the IDT deal, CellCura CEO Lars Bredahl said: “We know that regulatory authorities in most markets, including the EU and USA will favour the use of well defined, protein free media in future vaccine development and vaccine manufacturing.

He added that: “An extension of the Company's media technology to include vaccine manufacturing will open up for a significant expansion of the Company's market potential​.”

Market expansion

The Oslo-headquartered media maker has been working to expand the PF media throughout 2011. In April, the firm filed a patent application seeking to extend the product’s use to the production of assisted reproductive technologies (ART)

This patent application included the use of PF in both the production of vaccines and as a stasis media for stem cell research.

At the time the firm said: “A successful development of a stasis medium will vastly improve the maintenance of stem cells in a resting state for purposes of testing and shipping.

This would improve the viability of the cells after shipment and reduce the potential of mutations occurring because of the freeze/thaw process that is currently the standard practice for transporting cells over long distances. In addition, a successful stasis medium has the potential of reducing the cost of hESC culture processes by 50 per cent​.”

For IDT the deal is in keeping with efforts to expand its vaccine contract manufacturing business. Our sister publication Outsourcing-pharma.com spoke about the firm’s progress in this area at CPhI​ last year.

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