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Life Tech Introduces 'Streamlined' Program for PCR-Based Detection of Cell Culture Contaminants

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Life Technologies today unveiled a "streamlined" program for detecting three common contaminants of mammalian cell culture-based biopharmaceutical manufacturing.

The new Applied Biosystems Cell Culture Rapid Methods Program applies core technologies from across the company to combine one sample-preparation step with one instrument platform for real-time PCR based detection of Mycoplasma, vesivirus 2117, and mouse minute virus.

Mycoplasma, vesivirus 2117, and MMV are DNA- and RNA-based contamination threats in mammalian cell culture production. Life Tech said that its new program offers high accuracy and same-day results, thus enabling in-process testing for these contaminants at multiple points along the biopharmaceutical manufacturing process.

Life Tech's Applied Biosystems business introduced its Mycoplasma and vesivirus detection assays in 2009; and the ViralSEQ MMV detection assay in April of this year. As part of the streamlined program, Life Tech said it developed an improved protocol for its PrepSEQ magnetic bead-based DNA purification system that will allow users to extract nucleic acid for all three contaminants from a single cell culture.

According to the company's website, detection is performed on an ABI 7500 Fast Real-Time PCR system. Sample preparation and detection of all three contaminants can be performed in less than seven hours, Life Tech said.

Life Tech added that it expects biopharmaceutical companies to use the program to detect potential contamination early in production, thereby safeguarding manufacturing processes.

"The expansion of our detection kits and development of the Rapid Methods Program demonstrates our leadership in sample preparation and real-time PCR, as well as our ability to apply these technologies in innovative ways within the biopharmaceutical space," Chris Linthwaite, head of bioproduction at Life Technologies, said in a statement.

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