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Biotechnology in Lausanne: the Rh D project.
Hemolytic disease of the newborn is an often fatal condition of some newborn babies due to the immunogenicity of their Rh D positive erythrocytes in the Rh D negative mother. This condition can be prevented by injecting anti-Rh D antibodies. The current source of these antibodies is blood from immunized human donors. In order to avoid problems with limited supply and donor safety, the Rh D project was set up to develop recombinant monoclonal anti-Rh D antibodies as a possible replacement. In a multidisciplinary collaboration between the Zentrallaboratorium Blutspendedienst (ZlB) of the Swiss Red Cross, the Center of Biotechnology of the University and the EPFL (CBUE), and the Institute of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering (EPFl), co-funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation and ZLB, a candidate monoclonal anti-Rh D antibody has been selected, expressed in CHO cells, and a manufacturing process for large-scale production has been developed.
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