The partnership between Getinge and Fujirebio is all about creating value. The latest progress comes from a new pre-validated wash rack, enabling the staff at Fujirebio to create a standardized cleaning process of multi-use bioreactors which saves time in their important work to produce more antibodies used in cancer diagnostics.
Cultivation of hybridoma cells
Since founded in Japan 1950, the multinational biotech company Fujirebio is specialized in cancer diagnostics. Its Swedish hub is located in top modern laboratories at GoCo Health Innovation City – a growing innovation cluster for health and life science just south of Gothenburg.
We perform cultivation of hybridomas in bioreactors to produce antibodies, which eventually end up in clinical laboratory tests used for monitoring of cancer patients. With the help of these tests, medical staff can track treatments and determine what kind of cancer a patient is suffering from, as well as ensuring that a treatment is working according to plan.
The tests, carried out via blood samples, are attractive options to having to perform surgery to figure out cancer types, and the demand is growing worldwide.
“We need to scale up our cell cultivation in order to produce enough amount of antibodies. For this, we use multi-use Applikon bioreactors from Getinge, because it’s better for the environment. It also limits the risk of prolonged delivery times of single-use systems,” says Karin Vänerhav, Manufacturing Specialist Cell Cultivation and Bioreagent Purification at Fujirebio.
Bioreactor cleaning process
One challenge with multi-use bioreactors is the extensive need for thorough washing after every cultivation. Regardless of whether the bioreactor is being prepared for a same-use application or an entirely different one, all bioreactor components, as well as liquid media, must be made ready through an effective and reproducible process.
Up until recently, the Fujirebio staff had to perform this washing manually, but thanks to a new wash rack from Getinge for the more delicate parts of the equipment everything goes into the lab washer.
Getinge’s tailor-made wash rack supports customers who are working with these kinds of processes. It assures thorough cleaning, better reproducibility and reduced labor. Thanks to it, we have even been able to create a standardized process where we perform the washing the same way over and over again, which is very helpful.
Except eliminating operator errors the benefits of automated washing are many, including the possibility to program cycle phases, minimize chemical handling, prediction, control and reduction of water consumption, reduce labor and ensure better ergonomics due to less bioreactor handling.
Bioreactor sterilization process
Apart from bioreactors and laboratory washers along with the newly designed wash rack, the Fujirebio lab is also equipped with Getinge sterilizers. Karin and Lina both value the solutions and the partnership with Getinge, and the fact that service technicians are always just a quick phone call away.
“It’s a good collaboration, we appreciate having such a proactive and solution-driven partner to help us create the best possible environments for the cultivation process,” says Lina.
She speaks passionately about the process, and even about the challenge to get the cells to do what they want them to do.
“It has to do with cultivation conditions such as nutrition and temperature. We do everything we can to make the cells as happy as possible. When the cells thrive, there is more of them. And when there is more of them, we can deliver more antibodies. It feels good to be part of contributing to something as important as giving hope and saving lives.”