Tracing back a hamster’s journey from the deserts of China to the research labs of Harvard in the mid-50s and on to becoming the golden standard for the bio-manufacturing industry and eventually – a work of art.
Since they were first isolated in the late 1950s, Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells travel on an amazing journey. Because they are so easy to grow much was already known about their genetics and growth characteristics, CHO cells moved into the spotlight of the growing bio-pharmaceutical industry, which is currently worth more than $ 125 billion per year in sales at high profit margins. The step that catapulted CHO cells into prominence was the FDA approval for bio-therapeutic protein production – combined with an ability to grow in suspension, which greatly facilitates cell culturing at large scale. Meanwhile, CHO have become the golden standard for the production of therapeutic proteins, including humanized antibodies, and continue an unbelievable voyage all around the world.