CHO business: Lonza launches reformulated media for biopharma's go-to cell line

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

CHO business: Lonza launches reformulated media for biopharma's go-to cell line

Related tags Chinese hamster ovary cell Lonza

Lonza has launched a reformulated CHO media that it says supports the growth of higher density cultures and is easier to filter than currently available products.

The Swiss life sciences supplier unveiled PowerCHO Advance this week, explaining that it the hydrolysate-free, serum-free is designed to help therapeutic protein manufacturers achieve higher titres.
Amber Jones, media product manager for Lonza Bioscience Solutions, told us the higher cell densities and titres are possible thanks to “formulation improvements were made over previous catalogue products,​” but declined to provide additional details.

The media will be produced at Lonza’s facility in Walkersville, Maryland in the US according to Jones who said the price of the product will vary “depending on the region and distribution channel​” adding that it is “comparative to all CHO media on the market​.”

Lonza is hopeful the media will be adopted by biopharmaceutical firms Jones said.

We certainly hope that many customers begin using this product to make commercial CHO drugs on the market; however, since this product has just been launched, this has not happened yet​.”


The importance of CHO cells to the biopharmaceutical industry cannot be underestimated.

A few years back when the genome of the Chinese Hamster - Cricetulus griseus - was published, lead author Prof Bernhard Palsson, of the University of California, San Diego, predicted the biopharmaceutical industry would benefit considerably.

He told us: "The biopharmaceutical industry is worth about $125bn per year in sales at high profit margins.

The majority of therapeutic proteins are made in CHO cells. The current paper, along with the 2011 publication of the CHO K1 sequence puts this industry firmly into the genome era.

"The genome-scale era for CHO is likely to substantially improve CHO cell lines as production hosts and have a far reaching impact on this industry, just as whole genome sequences did for E. coli and yeast as production hosts​."

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