Vero cell upstream bioprocess development for the production of viral vectors and vaccines


The Vero cell line is considered the most used continuous cell line for the production of viral vectors and vaccines. Historically, it is the first cell line that was approved by the WHO for the production of human vaccines. Comprehensive experimental data on the production of many viruses using the Vero cell line can be found in the literature. However, the vast majority of these processes is relying on the microcarrier technology. While this system is established for the large-scale manufacturing of viral vaccine, it is still quite complex and labor intensive. Moreover, scale-up remains difficult and is limited by the surface area given by the carriers. To overcome these and other drawbacks and to establish more efficient manufacturing processes, it is a priority to further develop the Vero cell platform by applying novel bioprocess technologies. Especially in times like the current COVID-19 pandemic, advanced and scalable platform technologies could provide more efficient and cost-effective solutions to meet the global vaccine demand. Herein, we review the prevailing literature on Vero cell bioprocess development for the production of viral vectors and vaccines with the aim to assess the recent advances in bioprocess development. We critically underline the need for further research activities and describe bottlenecks to improve the Vero cell platform by taking advantage of recent developments in the cell culture engineering field.

Biotechnology Advances
Sascha Kiesslich
PhD Alumnus