Industrial Synthetic Biology platform

ValitaCHO: Faster and cheaper manufacturing of biopharmaceuticals using next generation “super” CHO cell lines generated using a novel directed evolution and synthetic biology strategy

The biopharmaceutical industry is rapidly growing and is crucial to the well-being of global citizens. Biotherapeutics offer significant advantages and we now have the theoretical toolkit to treat almost all diseases. Significant challenges exist in transferring it to a viable solution.

Currently over 70% of the commercial biotherapeutics are manufactured using Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) cells, but it is widely acknowledged that in their current format this is unlikely to continue. As the complexity increases, the economics of current CHO based biomanufacturing further deteriorates and, as we prepare for more futuristic applications, the CHO expression system needs to be significantly improved or to be completely replaced.

The key objective of this project is to generate “super” CHO cell lines for improved biopharmaceutical production. Herein, we describe an approach to utilise all of the knowledge generated to date on CHO cells and to evolve this to develop a cell line more fit for purpose, in terms of both cost and production capacity.

Contact details:
Deepak Balaji TG PhD (KU Leuven Belgium)
Marie Curie Global Individual Fellow (2020-2023)
ERA Leader Synthetic Biology
Centre Manager – CSIR Synthetic Biology and Precision Medicine Centre
CSIR NextGeneration Health
Pretoria, South Africa