Biotechnology and Bioengineering, Vol.114, No.11, 2432-2444, 2017
Reexamining opportunities for therapeutic protein production in eukaryotic microorganisms
Antibodies are an important class of therapeutics and are predominantly produced in Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) cell lines. While this manufacturing platform is sufficiently productive to supply patient populations of currently approved therapies, it is unclear whether or not the current CHO platform can address two significant areas of need: affordable access to biologics for patients around the globe and production of unprecedented quantities needed for very large populations of patients. Novel approaches to recombinant protein production for therapeutic biologic products may be needed, and might be enabled by non-mammalian expression systems and recent advances in bioengineering. Eukaryotic microorganisms such as fungi, microalgae, and protozoa offer the potential to produce high-quality antibodies in large quantities. In this review, we lay out the current understanding of a wide range of species and evaluate based on theoretical considerations which are best poised to deliver a step change in cost of manufacturing and volumetric productivity within the next decade.