Techno-economic analysis of semicontinuous bioreactor production of
biopharmaceuticals in transgenic rice cell suspension cultures
Biopharmaceutical protein production using transgenic plant cell
bioreactor processes offers advantages over microbial and mammalian cell
culture platforms due to the ability to produce complex biologics, use
of simple chemically-defined, animal component-free media, robustness of
host cells, and biosafety. A disadvantage of plant cells from a
traditional batch bioprocessing perspective is their slow growth rate
which has motivated us to develop semicontinuous and/or perfusion
processes. Although the economic benefits of plant cell culture
bioprocesses are often mentioned in the literature, to our knowledge no
rigorous techno-economic models or analyses have been published. Here we
present techno-economic models in SuperPro Designer® for the large-scale
production of recombinant butyrylcholinesterase (BChE), a
prophylactic/therapeutic bioscavenger against organophosphate nerve
agent poisoning, in inducible transgenic rice cell suspension cultures.
The base facility designed to produce 25 kg BChE per year utilizing
two-stage semicontinuous bioreactor operation manufactures a single 400
mg dose of BChE for $263. Semicontinuous operation scenarios result in
4-11% reduction over traditional two-stage batch operation scenarios.
In addition to providing a simulation tool that will be useful to the
plant-made pharmaceutical community, the model also provides a
computational framework that can be used for other semicontinuous or
batch bioreactor-based processes.