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Retrospective assessment of clonality of a legacy cell line by analytical subcloning of the master cell bank
Biotechnology Progress  (IF2.681),  Pub Date : 2021-09-29, DOI: 10.1002/btpr.3215
Guanghua (Benson) Li, Jennifer Pollard, Ren Liu, Richard C. Stevens, Jorge Quiroz, Michael C. Nelson, Matthew Manahan, Nicholas Murgolo, Robin S. Ehrick, Eric J. Wallenstein, Jason Hughes, Yung-shyeng Tsao, Jia Zhao, Zhimei Du, Nihal Tugcu, David Pollard

In recent years, assurance of clonality of the production cell line has been emphasized by health authorities during review of regulatory submissions. When insufficient assurance of clonality is provided, augmented control strategies may be required for a commercial production process. In this study, we conducted a retrospective assessment of clonality of a legacy cell line through analysis of subclones from the master cell bank (MCB). Twenty-four subclones were randomly selected based on a predetermined acceptance sampling plan. All these subclones share a conserved integration junction, thus providing a high level of assurance that the cell population in the MCB was derived from a single progenitor cell. However, Southern blot analysis indicates that at least four subpopulations possibly exist in the MCB. Additional characterization of these four subpopulations demonstrated that the resulting changes in product quality attributes of some subclones are not related to the genetic heterogeneity observed in Southern blot hybridization. Furthermore, process consistency, process comparability, and analytical comparability have been demonstrated in batches produced across varying manufacturing processes, scales, facilities, cell banks, and cell ages. Finally, process and product consistency together with a high level of assurance of clonal origin of the MCB helped clear the hurdle for regulatory approval without requirement of additional control strategies.