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Dev Biol Stand. 1996;88:199-203.

Contamination of genetically engineered Chinese hamster ovary cells.

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  • 1Alkermes, Inc., Cambridge MA, USA.


In late 1988, during production of a recombinant protein for phase I clinical trials, a failure of the cell culture production system occurred due to contamination of the cells by an orbivirus [1]. The incident occurred at Bioferon GmbH & Co, Laupheim, Germany, a joint venture of Biogen, Inc., Cambridge, MA, and Dr. Renstschler Arzneimittel GmbH & Co (Bioferon is currently a wholly owned subsidiary of Rentschler and is now known as Dr. Rentschler Biotechnologie GmbH). The investigation into, and the subsequent response to, the infection can be divided into three stages: Stage I, Investigation and initial response; Stage II, Secondary response; and Stage III: Continuing response.

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