ExpressTec Case Study: InVitria
InVitria is an innovative biotechnology company that serves customers in the fields of industrial cell culture and biomanufacturing. Leveraging the capabilities and benefits of ExpressTec, InVitria has developed a product family of serum-free, animal-free cell-culture supplements, components, and custom media services to improve the performance of eukaryotic cell culture for both research and industrial applications.
Eukaryotic cell culture: essential and sensitive tool of the life sciences
Academic and industrial life-science applications depend on the availability of pure, reliable, consistent bioreagents for R&D as well as biomanufacturing. In particular, R&D and commercial-scale production in the fields of biotherapeutics, vaccines, diagnostics, cellular therapy, gene therapy, regenerative medicine, tissue preservation, and even medical devices routinely involve the need to maintain, grow, and use eukaryotic cells as the raw materials for therapeutic applications.
Animal, human, insect, and plant cells can be challenging to grow when isolated from their natural host. They must be bathed continuously in cell-culture media supplemented with carefully defined nutrients, vitamins and minerals, and specific proteins to stimulate healthy growth, and their performance can be highly sensitive to contamination.
Many of the protein-based components of cell culture media are, themselves, difficult and expensive to source. Isolation from natural or engineered sources—such as cattle, human blood serum, or recombinant bacterial culture—introduces the potential risk of contamination with adventitious infectious pathogens, such as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (“mad-cow” and Creutzfeld-Jakob prion diseases) as well as blood-borne viruses such as HIV and hepatitis. Other trace contaminants left over after the purification process can interfere with consistent cell growth and performance. All of these factors can create safety risks as well as challenging manufacturing and regulatory hurdles.
ExpressTec: providing high-yield, serum-free, animal-free, bacteria-free products for InVitria
InVitria has leveraged the capabilities and benefits of ExpressTec to develop and manufacture cGMP-standard, recombinant versions of essential, protein-based cell-culture components. Use of ExpressTec for biomanufacturing eliminates the presence of any and all animal, human, or bacteria-derived contaminants, thus meeting the needs of InVitria’s customers for bioreagents that deliver greater safety and more consistent performance.
To date, InVitria has developed and commercialized eight recombinant proteins and cell culture media supplements. Key products include:
- rhAlbumin: The most abundant protein component of blood serum, albumin carries lipids to energize cells and is a powerful antioxidant. Albumin also sequesters toxic metabolic products, reducing cellular damage. Recombinant human albumin manufactured using ExpressTec offers superior purity, safety, functionality, and consistency compared to its serum-derived counterpart.
- rhTransferrin: Transferrin is the primary molecule that delivers intracellular iron to support fast-dividing cells. Iron-saturated transferrin binds to the transferrin receptor on cell surfaces and delivers the iron payload through endocytosis. The iron is released into the cell by a shift in pH, and iron-depleted transferrin is released from the cell back out into the media to re-load. Recombinant human transferrin manufactured using ExpressTec is used worldwide to support consistent cell culture in industrial applications.
Given their benefits, InVitria’s blood-free products have been widely adopted throughout the life-science industry. InVitria’s products have been adopted by more than 600 customers worldwide and are used in products approved by FDA and EMA. InVitria’s success in supporting its customers with highly pure bioreagents free of human or animal contamination is a model example of the power behind the ExpressTec innovation.
Learn more about the benefits by visiting InVitria’s website.