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ExcellGene and Khner achieved milestone in development of novel 250 Liter mammalian cell culture bioreactors

May 12, 2009 / b3c newswire / - ExcellGene SA, Monthey and Adolf Kühner AG, Birsfelden announce today that they achieved an important milestone in the development of a revolutionary cell culture technology for scale up and manufacturing from suspension cultured mammalian cells.

As part of a long-term partnership the two companies disclose today the successful conclusion of the technically challenging task of growing mammalian cells for the production of recombinant proteins in an orbitally shaken bioreactor.  The mechanism of orbital shaking allows for efficient mixing of suspension cultures, while oxygenating cells through the head space. The cylindrical vessel contains a disposable, sterile bag with appropriate connection tubes for seeding, feeding, gas supply and harvesting of the culture. Compared to classical stirred tank bioreactors, OrbShake-bioreactors are much simpler and less costly to operate.

The principles of orbital shaking technology with cylindrical vessels at smaller scale (50 ml to 10 Liter) has been object of preceding research and development at the two companies, and data obtained have shown that oxygen, the most important nutrient in animal cell culture, can be transferred to cells in such reactors as efficiently, if not more efficiently than any other bioreactor system used for animal cells so far. Cell culture data obtained from pilot experiments executed at ExcellGene have shown that growth and productivity from these reactors, now shown up to a scale of 200 Liters, are equivalent to those of fully instrumented non-disposable, glass or stainless steel stirred bioreactors.
“The top-class technical and developmental expertise of Kühner AG in shaking technology is providing the necessary hardware knowledge that will be needed to tackle the challenging task of creating a revolutionary scale-up bioreactor system, that will provide products up to the multi-thousand liter scale from mammalian cells such as CHO, NS0 and PerC6. Cell culture technology has to be liberated from pre-formed thinking and unjustified mental barriers in order to provide more cost-effective and simpler procedures to subcultivate and expand cell biomass in reactors with the ultimate goal to produce recombinant proteins more efficiently.” explains Dr. Wurm, Chief Scientific officer and Founder of ExcellGene.

Markus Kühner, CEO of Kühner AG comments: “Shaking Technology was widely accepted for microbial cultures, but our collaboration with Dr. Wurm and his team, most notably the development of ExcellGene’s TubeSpin®-bioreactor system at the small scale (50 ml) has opened our markets for incubator-shakers dramatically. We are now looking forward to a new system for growing cells in orbital shakers in scale and in technology, unthinkable just a few years ago.”
About ExcellGene SA
Founded barely 5 years ago, ExcellGene SA, privately owned, is already a leading process science company in the pharmaceutical biotechnology sector. ExcellGene discovers and develops innovative technologies for the production of recombinant proteins from mammalian cells in bioreactors. As a service company, ExcellGene generates entire upstream cell culture processes for its customers, from DNA to scalable manufacturing under cGMP. Additionally, the company provides protein production services, based both on stable cell lines and on large-scale transient gene expression. The company is located in Monthey, Switzerland.  For additional information, please visit or contact us directly at

About Kuehner AG
Kühner AG, Birsfelden (Basel), Switzerland has been designing and manufacturing shakers since 1949. Known worldwide for our quality and reliability, our range spans from the small table top shakers / incubator shakers to the very large 6-tray pilot shaker. We sell them through a worldwide network of dedicated distributors. Cooperation with well-known universities / polytechnical schools and our own application-driven development department is the key to our innovation. We organize advanced training, conferences and individual consultancy for our customers in the application of shaken bioreactors thus complementing the Kühner range of services. For additional information about the company, please visit


Markus Hildinger
Chief Business Officer
ExcellGene SA
Route de l’ile-au-bois 1A
CH-1870 Monthey, Valais
Phone: +41 24-471-9660

b3c newswire

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