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Production and purification of lentiviral vectors generated in 293T suspension cells with baculoviral vectors

H. P. Lesch, A. Laitinen, C. Peixoto, T. Vicente, K.-E. Makkonen, L. Laitinen, J. T. Pikkarainen

Gene Therapy advance online publication, 20 January 2011

Lentivirus can be engineered to be a highly potent vector for gene therapy applications. However, generation of clinical grade vectors in enough quantities for therapeutic use is still troublesome and limits the preclinical and clinical experiments. As a first step to solve this unmet need we recently introduced a baculovirus-based production system for lentiviral vector (LV) production using adherent cells. Herein, we have adapted and optimized the production of these vectors to a suspension cell culture system using recombinant baculoviruses delivering all elements required for a safe latest generation LV preparation. High-titer LV stocks were achieved in 293T cells grown in suspension. Produced viruses were accurately characterized and the functionality was also tested in vivo. Produced viruses were compared with viruses produced by calcium phosphate transfection method in adherent cells and polyethylenimine transfection method in suspension cells. Furthermore, a scalable and cost-effective capture purification step was developed based on a diethylaminoethyl monolithic column capable of removing most of the baculoviruses from the LV pool with 65% recovery.

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