MAY 04, 2016 12:00 PM PDT

Development of a Mammalian Recombinant Protein Production Suite

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  • Principal Scientist, CSL Limited
      Dr Catherine Owczarek is the Director of the Recombinant Protein Expression Group (CSL Limited) located at the Bio21 Institute in Melbourne, Australia. After gaining a PhD at the John Curtin School of Medical Research, Canberra, Catherine completed her post-doctoral studies at the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology in Oxford, the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne and then was a Senior Research Fellow at the Monash Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne. Since joining CSL Limited in 2004 Catherine has led the CSL Research Group's efforts in the successful development of a program to produce mammalian-derived recombinant proteins using disposable cell culture technology. She is involved in a range of CSL's early phase drug discovery campaigns where there is a high demand for recombinant proteins.

    Complex recombinant protein biologics, such as monoclonal antibodies and coagulation factors, are key components of today’s biopharmaceutical industry. There are many effective paths for generating recombinant proteins in mammalian cells.  Stable cell lines made in Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) cells are the workhorse for production of biopharmaceuticals due to their relative ease of use and long history of regulatory acceptance.  However, in development and laboratory settings, where large numbers of proteins are generated for pre-clinical studies, transient gene expression using the FS293F™, Expi293F™ and ExpiCHO™ systems is an efficient, rapid and cost-effective alternative to developing stable CHO cell lines. Transient gene expression technology has allowed us to rapidly screen, identify and characterise multiple novel protein-based human therapeutic drug candidates. Notably, we have observed that the choice of expression system has a great influence on not only the quantity but also the quality of the produced recombinant protein.  The Freestyle 293™, Expi293™ and ExpiCHO™ cell lines are excellent hosts for robust secretion of mammalian proteins, however the cellular machinery for appropriate post-translational modifications for particular proteins is not always optimal. We are currently developing tools that are expected to enable the generation of proteins with appropriate post-translational modifications and hence the desired biological activity and pharmacokinetics.

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