Technology Listings

Specialized Cell Culturing Media for Enhanced Antibody Secretion and Plasma Cell Survival


Cell culture media that promotes the survival of human plasma cells and enables immunoglobin (Ig) secretion from such plasma cells.

Key Benefits
  • Facilitates the isolation of antibody-secreting cells (ASCs) found in blood after antigen exposure, which can be used to identify an active antigen or pathogen causing illness.
  • Composed of factors secreted by mesenchymal stromal cells, which dramatically increases plasma cell survival time in tissue culture.
  • Allows the screening for and identification of novel therapeutic antibodies.
  • Applicable for selection of myeloma chemotherapy and anti-rejection therapy following organ transplantation.
Market Summary

Cell culture is the foundation of biopharmaceutical development and manufacturing, and makes up a nearly $1.4 billion market in the U.S. alone. Cell culture media has many applications in research and pharmaceutical laboratories from production of monoclonal antibodies to interrogating vaccine responses. Current practices limit the ability to isolate certain B-cell derived ASCs such as rare antigen-specific ASCs that represent less than 0.1% of available cells. Plasma cells isolated from blood, tissues, and secondary lymphoid organs readily die in less than 24 hours ex vivo and don’t survive in traditional cell culture conditions. In addition to being of research interest due to their role in different immune responses, plasma cells can be utilized to produce novel diagnostic and therapeutic products provided that cell culture conditions that promote plasma cell survival exist.

Technical Summary

Emory inventors have developed a special cell culturing media that promotes the survival of human plasma cells and Ig secretion. The media is composed of factors secreted by cultured mesenchymal stromal cells, in combination with other exogenous proteins. Even after 50 days, this in vitro culturing method sustains antibody-producing human ASCs and allows for enough antibody secretion for a single plasma cell to be identified and isolated. The extended lifetime of the plasma cells has potential as a diagnostic reagent for infectious diseases, a tool for directing chemotherapy for myeloma and anti-rejection of transplanted organs, increasing and maintaining Ig secretion to facilitate identification of therapeutic antibodies, and other applications. Researchers were able to pre-select ASCs with desired antigen specificities, eliminating a step in current monoclonal antibody generation practices. Use of this culturing method enables the screening and production of novel antibodies for any antigen of interest.

Development Stage

Media has been developed and demonstrated to sustain viable, antibody-producing plasma cells in culture over an extended period of time.

Patent Information
App Type Country Serial No. Patent No. File Date Issued Date Expire Date
Nationalized PCT - United States United States 15/735,933 12/12/2017    
Nationalized PCT - Foreign EP 16808268.3   1/3/2018    
Tech ID: 15057
Published: 11/16/2017
Research Tools

Cale Lennon
Director, Licensing
Emory University

Frances Lee
Ignacio Sanz
Doan Nguyen