Evonik looks to boost productivity of cell-culture-based biopharmaceuticals

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/elkor
© GettyImages/elkor

Related tags Evonik Peptide Cell culture Amino acid

Evonik has launched a new peptide, the latest addition to its cQrex portfolio.

The company said the product is designed to improve the productivity of monoclonal antibodies, vaccines, viral vectors, and therapeutic cells. 

The development is part of the company’s life sciences division stated strategy to increase its share of system solutions from 20% today to more than 50% by 2030.

Evonik outlined how the product, cQrex AC, can address challenges in the formulation of cell culture media and processes used in the development and production of biopharmaceuticals. Available globally, the peptide is a chemically defined and highly soluble source of L-cystine that enables sufficient supply of this key amino acid to cells, said the producer.

L-cystine is an essential amino acid in cell culture, and sufficient supply is critical to support the production of biotherapeutics, explained the company.

However, L-cystine is poorly soluble at neutral pH and difficult to supply to cells in sufficient amounts, it added.

"cQrex AC (N,N’-di-L-Alanyl-L-Cystine) is a non-animal-derived, chemically defined and highly soluble form of L-cystine with a solubility more than twenty times higher at neutral pH. It is efficiently metabolized by cells and used to formulate concentrated feed and perfusion media.

"cQrex AC thus addresses unmet needs in process intensification and simplification, which are major trends in biopharmaceutical cell culture.”

The new peptide will provide media manufacturers and biopharma companies a booster for intensified, next-generation bioprocessing, remarked Martin Schilling, director of cell culture ingredients at Evonik’s Health Care business.

Lipid production 

Meanwhile, the Germany headquartered developer recently announced​ a $220m lipid production facility for mRNA-based therapies.

Evonik will build a production facility for pharmaceutical lipids in Indiana: with the new site “positioning the group for future growth”​ in novel mRNA-based therapies beyond COVID-19 vaccines.

Construction at the new plant at Evonik’s Tippecanoe manufacturing site in Lafayette will begin in early 2023, with the new capabilities scheduled to go onstream in 2025.

A $220m investment in the facility is driven by up to $150m from the US government, through the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA). Additional support comes from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC), Greater Lafayette Commerce (GLC), and Duke Energy.  

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