Many mammalian cell fed-batch processes rely on maintaining the cells in a viable and productive state for extended periods of time in order to reach high final concentrations of secreted protein. In the work described herein, a nonamplified NSO cell line was transfected with a vector expressing a recombinant human anti-HIV gp 120 monoclonal antibody (Mab) and a selectable marker, glutamine synthetase. A fed-batch process was developed which improved product yields tenfold over the yields reached in batch culture. In this case, the clone was cultured for a period of 22 days and produced 0.85 g Mab/L. To gauge the effect of extended culture lifetime on product quality, biochemical characteristics of MAb isolated from different time points in the fed-batch culture were determined. The apparent molecular weight of the MAb was constant throughout the course of the culture. Isoelectric focusing revealed four major charged species, with a fifth more acidic species appearing later in the culture. The antigen binding kinetics were constant for MAb isolated throughout the culture period. Glycosylation analysis, on the other hand, revealed that MAb produced later in the culture contained greater percentages of truncated N-acetylglucosamine and highmannose N-glycans. Possible contributions to this underglycosylated material from either cell lysis or synthesis from noviable cells were found to be negligible. Instead, the viable cells appeared to be secreting more truncated and high mannose MAb glycoforms as the culture progressed.
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