In an effort to mitigate potential risks associated with the introduction of adventitious agents from animal-derived medium components, the biopharmaceutical industry has largely shifted to the use of serum-free and/or chemically defined media in their cell culture production systems. The development of these new media has often been hindered by the inability to achieve comparable performance as is seen with cells grown in media containing Fetal Bovine Serum or animal-derived protein hydrolysates.

A variety of components may be employed to compensate for the absence of FBS or animal-derived peptones in these formulations. They may be used either as integral components of newly developed serum-free media, or as performance enhancing supplements to existing formulations, including classical media and chemically defined media. Much success has been achieved using plant-derived protein hydrolysates in combination with other supplements such as insulin, transferrin and other growth factors normally derived from FBS or other animal sources. Many of these animal-derived proteins and growth factors are now being produced in animal-free recombinant systems.

The performance benefit provided by any medium supplement is subject to its interaction with other medium components present in the basal formulation, as well as any additional supplements being employed. In some instances, a combination of supplements may provide better performance than is seen when supplementing with the individual entities. Here we demonstrate such a synergistic reaction between a wheat hydrolysate and recombinant human serum albumin used to supplement a chemically defined growth medium for SP2/0 hybridoma cells. Many commercial and academic organizations still utilize a variety of serum types and/or fractions as key constituents for their cell media formulations. As the industry and global regulatory environment have evolved, there exists ever-increasing pressure to reduce or eliminate serum, serum-derived, and even all animal-derived components from production processes. Kerry has many years of experience and a multitude of viable options to assist our customers with this often difficult challenge.

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