By K. John Morrow, Jr. Ph.D.
Viral contamination in biopharmaceutical processes is the enemy within—creating major problems for the biomanufacturer and significant potential risk for patient safety. Contamination constitutes a major challenge to the biopharmaceutical industry, and is now being vigorously attacked on multiple fronts.
On the upstream end, the CHO cell line that has been the workhorse of the biologics industry for decades is being reinvented to improve the line’s robustness and performance. At the same time, improvements in treatment and testing of media components have dramatically lowered the risk of introducing virus contamination to the downstream process. This multilayered approach has dramatically lowered the risk of catastrophic failures.