By Dr. Martin Schilling, Evonik Health Care
Chemically defined amino acids and their derivatives such as dipeptides which contain no animal-derived components are now widely considered to be the preferred choice for use as components in the field of cell culture media for biopharmaceuticals and vaccines.
Compared to animal-sourced materials such as fetal bovine serum and undefined protein hydrolysates, they eliminate the risk of critical contaminants via sources such as BSE, mycoplasma or viruses. Of equal importance, their well-defined and highly pure nature minimize the risk of batch composition variations for more consistent and reliable media performance. Increasing regulatory scrutiny has also increased the need for precisely detailed insights into the exact media composition.
However, biopharmaceutical manufacturing processes using Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) cell lines or other mammalian cells have become highly specialized over the last two decades. This growing need for intensified and high-performing biopharmaceutical processes, especially where highly concentrated feeds or perfusion media are required, has prompted the need to move beyond the traditional use of protein hydrolysates. In particular, it is now common for the biopharma industry to require the use of dipeptides and performance boosters that are highly stable and soluble in neutral pH.