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BGI and GT Life Sciences Announce Complete Sequencing of CHO Genome

Published: Monday, January 10, 2011
Last Updated: Monday, January 10, 2011
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CHO whole genome sequence data has been assembled and early access is now available.

GT Life Sciences, Inc., and BGI announced that they have successfully completed for the first time the sequencing of the Chinese hamster ovary (CHO-K1) genome. Early access to the genome is now available.

Chinese hamster ovary cell lines, or CHO cell lines, are mammalian cells that have been derived from the ovary of the Chinese hamster and are used widely in biological research and in the production of therapeutic proteins. Today at least 70% of all therapeutic proteins are produced in CHO cells.

Currently the worldwide market for therapeutic proteins totals approximately $100 billion. The sequencing of the CHO genome will yield a wealth of new information and understanding of CHO cell functions, accelerating the discovery and development of new recombinant protein therapeutics. By increasing the productivity of CHO cell lines used in many pharmaceutical expression systems, production costs can be reduced.

"Sequencing the CHO genome represents a major milestone in optimizing this widely used mammalian cell line both for pharmaceutical research and for production of therapeutic proteins," stated Bernhard Palsson, Ph.D., Galetti Professor of Bioengineering and Adjunct Professor Medicine at the University of California, San Diego. "This newly available knowledge will bring multiple benefits, including media optimization and improved cell growth, protein production, glycosylation, and cell line engineering. Ultimately, it brings genome-scale science to CHO-based production of biopharmaceuticals."

GT Life Sciences' established CHOmics business platform for metabolic modeling and engineering of mammalian cells has already proven effective in optimizing CHO cell media and developing novel selectable markers. "The availability of the sequence together with a complete genome-scale model of CHO metabolism is proving to be a powerful tool that will allow us to deliver the next generation of process technologies for biopharmaceutical production in CHO and other mammalian cell lines," added Iman Famili, Ph.D., Sr. Director, Research and Development at GT Life Sciences.

"The complete sequencing of CHO-K1 genome is a major step forward in the application of genomics in the production of biopharmaceuticals," stated Dr. Jun Wang, Executive Director of BGI. "GT's CHOmics platform provides a valuable foundation for CHO genomics research and the study of CHO cell metabolism. BGI's sequencing and bioinformatics capabilities, combined with GT's CHOmics platform, will contribute to the transformation of biopharmaceutical production."

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