Enabling Technologies
Drug Discovery World
Safety First - Automating cell line development

Safety First - Automating cell line development

By Jon Newman-Smith

Developing and maintaining cell cultures in a stable and sterile environment is of paramount importance to protect samples and increase overall success of drug discovery pipelines. Cell lines are extremely fragile and susceptible to contamination which can be catastrophic in terms of both time and money.

Therefore, adequate environmental protection must be provided at all times in automation system enclosures. Here we examine what to look out for to ensure safe and successful automated cell line development.

Automation in drug discovery has become a fundamental driver of progress, enabling increased throughput and reduced reliance on labour-intensive workflows. One of the main drivers behind this is the need for increased ‘speed to clinic’ – investors and CROs are placing heightened importance on shorter cell line development times and the production of consistently high-quality recombinant products. As a result, many companies are developing automation strategies in order to meet these demands.

There are various processes in cell line development that are particularly labour-intensive. For example, transfection (gene knock in or knock out), which is a random process, can often create a major bottleneck. This is because multiple screens and selection panels are needed to ensure the best clones are identified. Cell maintenance and cell line stability are also time-consuming, involving selection of high-performing clones and culture and expansion over a range of volumes to achieve yields that can be moved on to systems for further development....

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