GERMANY – Evonik has launched a highly pure cystine peptide in its cQrex AC portfolio of cell culture ingredients to address challenges in the formulation of cell culture media and processes used in the development and production of biopharmaceuticals.

The company said the product is designed to improve the productivity of monoclonal antibodies, vaccines, viral vectors, and therapeutic cells.

Evonik outlined how the peptide product, cQrex AC, can address challenges in the formulation of cell culture media and process used in the development and production of biopharmaceuticals.

Available globally, the peptide is a chemically defined and highly soluble source of L-cystine that enables sufficient supply of this key amino acid to cells.

L-cystine is an essential amino acid in cell culture, and sufficient supply is critical to support the production of biotherapeutics.

However, L-cystine is poorly soluble at neutral pH and difficult to supply to cells in sufficient amounts. The peptide cQrex AC (N,N’-di-L-Alanyl-L-Cystine) is a non-animal-derived, chemically defined, and highly soluble form of L-cystine with a solubility more than twenty times higher at neutral pH.

High-quality cell culture solutions are a key driver for Evonik’s innovation growth field healthcare solutions within the life science division Nutrition & Care.

The development is part of the company’s life sciences division stated strategy to increase its share system solutions from 20% currently to more than 50% by 2030.

cQrex AC is a superior solution to the well-known challenges of supplying cystine to cell culture.

It is efficiently metabolized by cells and used to formulate concentrated feed and perfusion media. cQrex AC thus addresses unmet needs in process intensification and simplification, which are major trends in biopharmaceutical cell culture.

Evonik’s market-leading cQrex portfolio of peptides, in conjunction with the company’s application services, provides customers with a system solution designed to overcome limitations in bioprocess performance.

The new peptide will provide media manufacturers and biopharma companies around the globe with this unique booster for intensified, next-generation bioprocessing, remarked Martin Schilling, Director of Cell Culture Ingredients at Evonik’s Health Care business.

Expanding lipid production in US

Meanwhile, Evonik is set to build a US production facility for lipids needed for mRNA therapies, and has won considerable US government backing for the US$220 million investment.

Additional support comes from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC), Greater Lafayette Commerce (GLC), and Duke Energy.

The production facility, which will be situated in Tippecanoe manufacturing site is poised to position Evonik for future growth in the novel mRNA-based therapies beyond COVID-19 vaccines.

Evonik is among the suppliers of lipids, produced in Germany, which are needed for packaging the messenger RNA molecules in Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine.

In the form of nanoparticles, the lipids protect the mRNA and help deliver them to the right body parts.

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