The German life science supplier unveiled its EX-CELL Advanced HD Perfusion Medium last week, claiming it is the first off-the-shelf, high-density cell culture media that supports perfusion processes at low rates.
Andrew Bulpin, Merck’s head of process solutions strategic marketing & innovation, told us the idea behind the new product is to make perfusion more cost effective.
“Perfusion processes are known to provide higher volumetric productivities than batch and fed-batch processes. However, to be economically feasible, it is essential to minimize the medium exchanges per day in a perfusion process while maintaining specific productivity and product quality.”
Bulpin explained the medium can sustain high cell densities (>50x106vc/mL) using lower perfusion rates adding that “medium components were optimized to support higher specific productivities than observed even in fed-batch processes.”
High density perfusion is a relatively new idea according to Bulpin, who said the new product “will be specifically helpful to new customers expressing recombinant proteins in CHO cell lines” adding that Merck will provide tech support and training.
Biopharma interest in cutting production costs is driving the adoption of perfusion according to Bulpin, who cited efforts to bring products to market more quickly as the underlying goal.
“To achieve this goal, maximizing cell culture biomass and productivities is essential, therefore challenging the capacity of traditional cell culture medium developed to support fed-batch processes.
“This new product though is unique in that it fits the needs of the near future. This is the first commercially available medium specifically designed for high density CHO perfusion processes.”