Press release
Nutrition & Care
July 19, 2022

Evonik launches new peptide to boost productivity of cell-culture-based biopharmaceuticals

  • Improves productivity of monoclonal antibodies, vaccines, viral vectors, and therapeutic cells
  • Addresses the challenge of sufficient cystine supply to cells
  • Latest addition to cQrex® portfolio of non-animal-derived, highly pure peptides

Essen, Germany. Evonik now offers a highly pure cystine peptide to address challenges in the formulation of cell culture media and processes used in the development and production of biopharmaceuticals. Available globally, cQrex® AC is a chemically defined and highly soluble source of L-cystine that enables sufficient supply of this key amino acid to cells. It is the latest addition to the cQrex® portfolio of cell culture ingredients which increase efficiency and productivity in bioprocesses for producing monoclonal antibodies, vaccines, viral vectors, and therapeutic cells.

Evonik’s market-leading cQrex® portfolio of peptides, in conjunction with the company’s application services, provides customers with a system solution designed to overcome limitations in bioprocess performance. High-quality cell culture solutions are a key driver for Evonik’s innovation growth field healthcare solutions within the life science division Nutrition & Care. The division aims to increase the share of system solutions from 20 percent today to more than 50 percent by 2030.

“cQrex® AC is a superior solution to the well-known challenges of supplying cystine to cell culture. We are delighted to provide media manufacturers and biopharma companies around the globe with this unique booster for intensified, next-generation bioprocessing,” said Martin Schilling, director of Cell Culture Ingredients at Evonik’s Health Care business.

L-cystine is an essential amino acid in cell culture, and sufficient supply is critical to support the production of biotherapeutics. However, L-cystine is poorly soluble at neutral pH and difficult to supply to cells in sufficient amounts. The peptide cQrex® AC (N,N’-di-L-Alanyl-L-Cystine) is a non-animal-derived, chemically defined and highly soluble form of L-cystine with a solubility more than twenty times higher at neutral pH. It is efficiently metabolized by cells and used to formulate concentrated feed and perfusion media. cQrex® AC thus addresses unmet needs in process intensification and simplification, which are major trends in biopharmaceutical cell culture.

Evonik’s Health Care business line is a global innovation hub for the world’s leading pharma and biotech companies. By leveraging six decades of industry leadership, Evonik Health Care provides the biopharma market with high-quality cell culture solutions including amino acids, peptides, plant-based lipids, and other non-animal-derived performance boosters. 

Company information

Evonik is one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals. The company is active in more than 100 countries around the world and generated sales of €15 billion and an operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) of €2.38 billion in 2021. Evonik goes far beyond chemistry to create innovative, profitable and sustainable solutions for customers. About 33,000 employees work together for a common purpose: We want to improve life today and tomorrow.

About Nutrition & Care

The focus of the business of the Nutrition & Care division is on health and quality of life. It develops differentiated solutions for active pharmaceutical ingredients, medical devices, nutrition for humans and animals, personal care, cosmetics, and household cleaning. In these resilient end markets, the division generated sales of €3.56 billion in 2021 with about 5,300 employees. 


In so far as forecasts or expectations are expressed in this press release or where our statements concern the future, these forecasts, expectations or statements may involve known or unknown risks and uncertainties. Actual results or developments may vary, depending on changes in the operating environment. Neither Evonik Industries AG nor its group companies assume an obligation to update the forecasts, expectations or statements contained in this release.