Improving access to expression platforms for COVID-19

Written by Tristan Free

An expression platform for Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) cell lines has been made more readily available for research relating to COVID-19.

The expression platform CHOSOURCE, developed by Horizon Discovery (Cambridgeshire, UK), has been made faster and easier to access for researchers developing therapeutic proteins, diagnostic assays and vaccines for COVID-19.


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The platform consists of CHO cell lines with glutamine synthetase knocked out. These CHO K1 cell lines are suited to the biomanufacturing and synthesis of complex proteins. It is thought that these cell lines will be able to help plug gaps in the development and validation of therapeutics, accelerating research.

Speaking exclusively to BioTechniques about how this platform can assist in the study of COVID-19, Jesús Zurdo, Global Head of Bioprocessing at Horizon, stated that, “CHOSOURCE is a well-established expression platform that combines great performance, flexibility and clinical track record. This brings peace of mind to innovators looking at taking new biologic therapeutics to the clinic, so they can concentrate their efforts on the design of the specific therapeutic entity without having to worry about validating the expression platform that will be needed to take their product into the clinic. Furthermore, it offers flexibility for those companies that are used to running different types of processes and different scales of production”


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Further extolling the benefits of the CHOSOURCE platform, Zurdo went onto say, “our platform is particularly well suited to support the development of recombinant protein-based vaccines against infectious diseases, as well as the development of therapeutic antibodies that could be used either as prophylaxis or more commonly as a therapeutic treatment for patients with a confirmed infection.”

This is but one of many examples of companies in the biotech industry reaching out to the research community to facilitate faster and more reliable discoveries as the scientific community bands together in the pursuit of therapeutics and a vaccine to COVID-19.