How to Improve Protein Productivity Through Scale Up, Including Single-Use Bioreactors

Sponsored by: Essential Pharmaceuticals
Session ends: March 11th, 2016, 3:00pm MST
Answers by: Dr. Adam Elhofy, Ph.D., CSO,


Enhancing protein production is a common goal in the biomanufacturing industry. However, scalability is a problem faced across many platforms in manufacturing.  A desired outcome observed in shake flasks, such as increased protein productivity, is not always observed in large scale bioreactors.  Further, the move toward single-use bioreactors has posed an additional challenge, as productivity improvements observed in glass shake flasks or stainless steel bioreactors may not be observed in plastic bioreactor bags.  Availability of lipids in media is one factor to consider during bioproduction scale-up and when moving toward single-use system.

This session is sponsored by Essential Pharmaceuticals

During this Ask the Expert session, we will be discussing considerations to be made regarding bioproduction scale-up and single-use bioreactors. Essential Pharmaceuticals is addressing these challenges with their Cell-Ess lipid supplement.  Cell-Ess was used as a feed at 5% (v/v) in a small Wave bioreactor resulting in greater than 25% monoclonal antibody titer increase, which was similar to the gains seen in earlier experiments using shake flasks.  Small bioreactors have been used as models to show scalability to up to 10,000-liter manufacturing runs.  These new data suggest supplementing with Cell-Ess as a feed will result in increased monoclonal antibody titers for 10,000-liter bioreactor runs, including in single-use bioreactors.

Who should visit?

  • Those in early development of bioproduction of proteins in eukaryotic cells
  • Those in media optimization or yield optimization for scaled bioproduction of proteins
  • Department Directors, Program Directors, Project leaders, involved in optimization of large scale bioproduction of proteins.

Types of Questions?

  • How does lipid availability in media influence protein productivity?
  • What can contribute to differences observed during the scale up process?
  • Why might lipid availability be different in single-use bioreactors?
  • What mitigations can improve lipid half-life and availability in media?
  • How can supplements be used in large scale bioproduction to improve protein productivity?

This Ask the Expert session is sponsored by Essential Pharmaceuticals and is hosted by Dr. Adam Elhofy, Ph.D., CSO. Dr. Elhofy developed the core technology for the Ess line of products and aided in creating patents around novel uses of materials.  Dr. Elhofy has over 14 years of scientific research experience in the areas of immunology, neuroscience, and oncology.  He was funded by both the National Institutes of Health and the Multiple Sclerosis society as an investigator at Northwestern University Medical School. His doctoral research won him the award of the Top 5 trainee scientists by the American Association of Immunologists. Dr. Elhofy has 14 scientific publications in peer reviewed journals. He has played a variety of roles with start-up biotech companies ranging from Principal Investigator to Director of Corporate Development.

For more information, please see “New Advances Pose New Challenges to Bioproduction.

Please take advantage of the opportunity to ask our expert a question and participate in a lively discussion on animal origin free media optimization.

ask the expert

Questions & Answers

Each time we add lipids to our media, we must make fresh solution and titrate the appropriate amount to add to avoid cell death. Do we have to undergo the same process with your supplement?

Cell-Ess is stable in solution. There are issues with free fatty acid and free cholesterol with stability and solubility. In addition, the carrier may cause a problem. All of these issues have to be monitored and accounted for in cultures lasting over 4 days. With longer cultures, media depletion becomes a concern, and feeds are […]» Read More

We are adding simple fatty acids to our media, and we use plastic bioreactors. Are our simple fatty acids sticking to the plastic, or is it just complex fatty acids that are the problem?

Free fatty acids are added in some media optimization strategies. Free fatty acids have a very short half-life once they are in solution. Furthermore, all types of free fatty acids (both simple and complex) bind to vessel walls, especially in SUBs, where they will be mostly adhere to the vessel with 24 hours.» Read More

When would you add this is it a supplement or a feed?

Cell-Ess is can be both a supplement and a feed. The nomenclature for the manufacturing process can be a little confusing. For example, supplements can be used as feeds. What we found is that each clone is different, and the media requirement may be slightly different. Therefore, optimization is the key. In some cases, Cell-Ess […]» Read More

I am curious, we are getting good productivity in our glass benchtop bioreactors, but when we scale up to 200 liters, our productivity drops. We have seen that this is due to a decrease in vcd. What could you recommend we try?

We have seen similar results in glass, steel, and SUBs with Cell-Ess. I have several questions and maybe we can go through them together offline. For example what does your VCD curve look like in each vessel? Do you know what may account for the different curve shapes? There are several other questions we can […]» Read More

We work with CHO transfection pools for protein production. We typically use a more complex media for this application. Have you seen your product can be helpful with transfection pools?

We have seen a benefit in CHO cell pools. As with isolated clones used for production, the base SFM drives the amount of Cell-Ess needed for an observed benefit. The typical time for pools grown is shorter than that for production runs so most likely an initial supplement tends to be sufficient. We can work […]» Read More