Rethinking solubility and stability in cell culture media with next generation cystine peptides
June 01, 2023
In the dynamic world of biopharma, cell culture processes have become a cornerstone for the production of therapeutic proteins and biologics. Thanks to their compatibility with existing cell culture media systems and processes, high solubility and beneficial effects on media stability, next-generation cystine peptides have emerged as a game-changer, offering a range of benefits for industrial cell culture.
Cell culture media formulations have evolved and nowadays must only contain non-animal derived components and be fully chemically defined while ever increasing concentrations of nutrients are required to increase productivity. This requirement has resulted in the fundamental limitations imposed by the physicochemical properties of amino acids.
Amino acids are essential ingredients in cell culture media as they function as protein building blocks. However, low stability and solubility of some amino acids impose limits to media formulations, storage stability, process intensification and ultimately overall productivity. L-Cysteine, for example, is highly reactive in media and easily oxidize to poorly soluble L-cystine.
Evonik has developed a portfolio of chemically defined and highly pure peptides that help formulate more concentrated and stable media, simplify the cell culture process and increase productivity. They are already used in many pipeline and commercial programs. The latest addition to this portfolio of peptides is cQrex® KC.
cQrex® KC (N,N‘-di-L-lysyl-L-cystine dihydrochloride) is a highly soluble and chemically defined peptide designed to address the challenge of L-cystine supply in cell culture. As a precursor of the key amino acids L-cystine and L-lysine, cQrex® KC allows the formulation of concentrated and pH-neutral basal, feed and perfusion media, therefore intensifying and simplifying complex production processes. By increasing cell proliferation, viability and cell-specific productivity, cQrex® KC also contributes to higher antibody titers and increased productivity of biological drugs. Eventually this also contributes to a more sustainable foot-print of bioproduction.
Overall, next generation cystine peptides offer many advantages. Unlike other substances that require extensive modifications or additional equipment, next generation cystine peptides can be easily incorporated into standard cell culture media, making their adoption straightforward and cost-effective. Biopharmaceutical companies are looking for highest quality and purity of raw materials that are provided by Evonik to ensure stable and consistent processes. Finally, supply security has become even more important over the last years and large-scale and reliable manufacturers like Evonik can ensure this.
For more information, please see cQrex KC