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Bioprocess development for canine adenovirus type 2 vectors

P. Fernandes, C. Peixoto, VM Santiago, EJ Kremer, AS Coroadinha and PM Alves

Gene Therapy (2012), 1–8

Canine adenovirus type 2 (CAV-2) vectors overcome many of the clinical immunogenic concerns related to vectors derived from human adenoviruses (AdVs). In addition, CAV-2 vectors preferentially transduce neurons with an efficient traffic via axons to afferent regions when injected into the brain. To meet the need for preclinical and possibly clinical uses, scalable and robust production processes are required. CAV-2 vectors are currently produced in E1-transcomplementing dog kidney (DK) cells, which might raise obstacles in regulatory approval for clinical grade material production. In this study, a GMP-compliant bioprocess was developed. An MDCK-E1 cell line, developed by our group, was grown in scalable stirred tank bioreactors, using serum-free medium, and used to produce CAV-2 vectors that were afterwards purified using column chromatographic steps. Vectors producedin MDCK-E1 cells were identical to those produced in DK cells as assessed by SDS-PAGE and dynamic light scatering measurements (diameter and Zeta potential). Productivities of ~109 infectious particles (IP) ml-1 and 2x103 IP per cell were possible. A downstream process using technologies transferable to process scales was developed, yielding 63% global recovery. The total particles to IP ratio in the purified product (<20:1) was within the limits specified by the regulatory authorities for AdV vectors. These results constitute a step toward a scalable process for CAV-2 vector production compliant with clinical material specifications.