Contamination of genetically engineered Chinese hamster ovary cells

Dev Biol Stand. 1996;88:199-203.


In late 1988, during production of a recombinant protein for phase I clinical trials, a failure of the cell culture production system occurred due to contamination of the cells by an orbivirus [1]. The incident occurred at Bioferon GmbH & Co, Laupheim, Germany, a joint venture of Biogen, Inc., Cambridge, MA, and Dr. Renstschler Arzneimittel GmbH & Co (Bioferon is currently a wholly owned subsidiary of Rentschler and is now known as Dr. Rentschler Biotechnologie GmbH). The investigation into, and the subsequent response to, the infection can be divided into three stages: Stage I, Investigation and initial response; Stage II, Secondary response; and Stage III: Continuing response.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood / virology
  • Bluetongue virus / isolation & purification
  • CHO Cells / virology*
  • Cattle / blood
  • Cattle / embryology
  • Cricetinae
  • Cricetulus
  • Drug Contamination / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Genetic Engineering
  • Hemorrhagic Disease Virus, Epizootic / isolation & purification
  • Technology, Pharmaceutical / methods*
  • Technology, Pharmaceutical / standards