Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

H2020

eCHO Systems Report Summary

Project ID: 642663
Funded under: H2020-EU.1.3.1.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - eCHO Systems (Enhancing CHO by Mammalian Systems Biotechnology (eCHO systems))

Reporting period: 2015-01-01 to 2016-12-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Chinese hamster (CHO) ovary cells are the production host for a +50 billion €/yr biopharmaceuticals market. Current CHO production platforms dates to 1980 and are based primarily on media and process optimisation with little consideration to the optimization of the cellular machinery. Fortunately, with the recent sequencing of the CHO genome, an opportunity has opened to significantly advance the CHO platform. The benefit will be advanced production flexibility and a lower production cost, which will potentially advance European biotechnology.
Specifically the objectives of eCHO Systems are:
a) It will train PhDs to overcome the barriers that currently exist between systems and synthetic biology innovation and traditional mammalian biotechnology research and education paradigms.
b) It will break barriers between industry and academia, such that PhD students will gain expertise in the latest biotechnology methods used in the CHO industry, and provide practical experience to the students by working in both sectors. The students will also take a special biotechnology business development course to learn about entrepreneurship.
c) The PhDs will transfer state-of-the-art genome scale research approaches in systems biology, genome engineering, and computational/bioinformatics tools into CHO biotechnology companies. Conversely, industrial advisors will provide scientific and technical expertise on projects and a product-oriented focus that will apply eCHO Systems innovations to commercial processes.
In summary, the research objectives of eCHO Systems are to apply the new genomics and systems biology-based data on CHO cells for advancement of current research and per extension to impact the non-academic sector to generate added value and increased competitive edge for European biotechnology.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

So far, eCHO Systems has established a team of 15 international PhD students, four universities, one company partner and nine associated industrial partners to establish the next generation of CHO cell factories. Our work is divided across three focus areas:
1) Acquisition of large scale ‘omics data sets and their incorporation into descriptive and predictive models
2) Development of genome engineering tools, enabling synthetic biology
3) Application of systems and synthetic biology and genome engineering to improve performance of CHO producers
In particular, we have established
- Large portfolios of omics-datasets
- Models with descriptive and predictive capabilities
- Sophisticated genome editing technologies
- Enhanced genetic elements
- CHO cells with enhanced phenotypes

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

The eCHO Systems will produce four major outputs:
1) General knowledge to improve the productivity, quality, and efficiency of CHO platform cell lines
2) new systems models for CHO cells
3) new CHO cell line chassis generated through synthetic biology approaches
4) a cadre of interdisciplinary graduates poised to transform biopharmaceutical biotechnology.
All of these will impact the European biopharmaceutical industry.
We have established this in a high quality graduate-level training programme. Results have been communicated at multiple levels: high school students, scientific publications, presentations at research conferences and to biotechnology companies.

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