Continuous innovation of host cell lines for cell line development

Insights from the Oxford Global Cell Series UK Conference on the ongoing innovation driving new requirements for cell lines

Author: Ian Taylor, Chief Commercial Officer, Solentim

Dr Ian Taylor, Chief Commercial Officer, SolentimAt last week’s Oxford Global Conference in London, a couple of talks stood out for me on innovations for improving host cell lines in cell line development.

First up was Mario Pereira from Horizon Discovery who nicely explained the history of the Company’s HD-BIOP3 GS null knockout for customers looking to produce stable cell lines (this cell line has previously been referenced for use on the Solentim VIPS™ system for single cell isolation). He highlighted the key attributes for successful adoption of a commercial cell line as follows:

  • Documented history: in Horizon’s case, how it was developed from CHOK1 at ECACC
  • Flexible commercial licence
  • No royalties
  • Unlimited use
  • No restrictions on vector, media source or manufacturing organisation
  • Regulatory compliant
  • Multiple INDs filed by clients
  • Clear IP position
  • Over 60 licences sold

This feels like a very refreshing development compared with previous incumbent players who charged expensive access fees, wanted royalties on products, and claimed additional costs from customers wanting to use a different CMO for the production stable cell lines.

Mario explained that Horizon want to take its development further and conduct even more targeted integration. He pointed out that the Company has already designed rAAV generated landing-pads for top 3 pharma and top 3 CMO. I suspect with their in-house gene editing cell lines expertise, we will hear more of this soon.

Secondly, Anke Mayer-Bartschmid from Bayer Pharma in Wuppertal, Germany – a Company using Solentim’s Cell Metric® cell imaging systems at both its German and Berkeley CA sites – described targeted integration for its research cell lines. Bayer Pharma has optimised its integration for improved ‘stability’, as opposed to high titer, and have found it suitable for a variety of molecules at a range of levels. The Company has employed the UCOE (Unqiuitous Chromatin-Opening Elements) at the transcriptional level and has licensed the UNic™ technology from ProteoNIC (based in the Netherlands) for increased protein translation, enabling improved scouting for bispecific combinations.

Innovation in this area is ongoing, and I think there are advances to be made at the pool level with a reduced overall number of clones needed at the end. Moving forward, we envisage projects to be increasingly driven by how many clones are needed from single cell cloning rather than how many plates or wells need screening.

Additionally, in line with Bayer’s requirement for stability, I think people will be looking increasingly for cell lines that can be more optimised for difficult to express proteins rather than just standard monoclonal antibody production.

For more information about how we can help you optimise your overall cell line development workflow please get in touch.