Nature Methods have picked Zinc Finger Nucleases (ZFNs) as the "Method of the Year" for cell engineering. These tools allow for fast and very selective modification of the genome by knocking out, knocking in or modifying specific genes in a wide varitey of organisms.
SAFC is using ZFNs to modify CHO cells in particular to create platform cell lines that can be used in biopharmaceutical production. The platforms thus created can combine one or more gene modifications in a single platform line - for example a selective marker like GS and a gene controlling glycosylation like Neu-3 - matched to optimized chemically-defined (CD) media and feed sets for an off the shelf production solution. This would also include protocols, validation and application data showing the production of mAbs and non-mAb proteins.
In October 2010, SAFC introduced catalog ZFNs that can modify dhfr and GS in CHO. In early 2011, cell lines with these modifications matched to CD media and feeds will also be available in the catalog offering. We expect that these type of cell lines will be useful to biotechs, CMOs and biosimilar producers for biologic production.
Nature Method article - Download ZFN method of year
Posted by Bruce Lehr Jan 27th 2011.