Product News: Merck Offers Rhabdovirus-Free Insect Platform for Viral Vaccines and Gene Therapy Development

Exclusively licensed, rhabdovirus-free platform enables more productive bioprocessing

17 Oct 2018


Merck is collaborating with GlycoBac LLC to offer a Sf-9 insect cell line. GlycoBac’s development of a proven rhabdovirus-negative (RVN) cell line enables Merck to offer the first Sf-9 platform combining a rhabdovirus-free insect cell line with a corresponding, chemically defined cell culture medium. This will be the first non-mammalian cell line in Merck’s cell culture portfolio, allowing customers worldwide access to a safer, high-performing vehicle for recombinant protein expression, virus-like particle vaccines and adeno associated virus based gene therapy production.

The insect cell line will provide time and cost savings in analytics and validation, and speed development by circumventing process steps normally required to prove elimination of rhabdovirus.  In addition, Merck’s chemically defined hydrolysate-free medium addresses consistency concerns while also reducing overall variability in growth and productivity.

Merck’s insect cell line extends the company’s upstream offerings for viral vaccine and gene therapy applications, complementing Merck’s well-known mammalian CHOZN® platform. Collectively, Merck’s upstream and downstream solutions now constitute a robust portfolio for mAb, vaccine and virus production.

The Merck Sf-RVN platform will be available from a cGMP cell bank to purchase in 2019.

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