Reshaping cell line development and CMC strategy for fast responses to pandemic outbreak

Biotechnol Prog. 2021 Sep;37(5):e3186. doi: 10.1002/btpr.3186. Epub 2021 Jul 19.


The global pandemic outbreak COVID-19 (SARS-COV-2), has prompted many pharmaceutical companies to develop vaccines and therapeutic biologics for its prevention and treatment. Most of the therapeutic biologics are common human IgG antibodies, which were identified by next-generation sequencing (NGS) with the B cells from the convalescent patients. To fight against pandemic outbreaks like COVID-19, biologics development strategies need to be optimized to speed up the timeline. Since the advent of therapeutic biologics, strategies of transfection and cell line selection have been continuously improved for greater productivity and efficiency. NGS has also been implemented for accelerated cell bank testing. These recent advances enable us to rethink and reshape the chemistry, manufacturing, and controls (CMC) strategy in order to start supplying Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) materials for clinical trials as soon as possible. We elucidated an accelerated CMC workflow for biologics, including using GMP-compliant pool materials for phase I clinical trials, selecting the final clone with product quality similar to that of phase I materials for late-stage development and commercial production.

Keywords: CMC for biologics; COVID-19; mammalian cell line development; next-generation sequencing.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CHO Cells
  • COVID-19 / immunology*
  • Cricetulus
  • Disease Outbreaks
  • Humans