Press release
Health Care
June 2, 2023

Evonik launches next-generation peptide for biopharma applications

  • Unique, performance booster for intensified bioprocesses
  • One thousand times more soluble than L-cystine at neutral pH
  • Latest addition to cQrex® portfolio of non-animal derived, highly pure dipeptides

Essen, Germany. Evonik now offers cQrex® KC, a performance-boosting peptide for cell culture media used in the manufacture of biological drugs. The new peptide enables cell culture process developers and media formulators in the biopharmaceutical industry to optimize cystine supply and increase cell culture productivity. cQrex® KC is the latest addition to Evonik’s toolbox of cQrex® cell culture ingredients designed to increase efficiency and productivity in cell culture processes used to produce monoclonal antibodies, vaccines, viral vectors and cell therapies. The market for biological drugs – greater than €250 billion in 2022 - continues to grow, with several thousand products in the pipeline.

“We are excited about the opportunities cQrex® KC offers to our customers. By enabling increased flexibility in media formulation and bioprocess design, we are helping more efficient production of biopharmaceuticals,” said Martin Schilling, director of Cell Culture Ingredients at Evonik’s Health Care business.

Adding cQrex® KC to Evonik’s market-leading cQrex® portfolio and accompanying application services, strengthens the company’s offerings of System Solutions. Nutrition & Care, the life sciences division at Evonik that is home to the Evonik Health Care business, aims to increase its share of System Solutions from 20 percent today to more than 50 percent by 2030. System Solutions are defined as multicomponent systems tailored to a specific customer need.

L-cystine is a key amino acid in cell culture. Sufficient supply is critical to support cell growth and production of biopharmaceuticals. However, L-cystine is hardly soluble in cell culture media at neutral pH, so it is difficult to supply enough of this amino acid to cells cultured in modern industrial processes that rely on chemically defined media.

cQrex® KC is a highly pure and soluble peptide designed to address the challenge of L-cystine supply in cell culture. It allows the formulation of concentrated and pH-neutral feed and perfusion media, as well as basal media, therefore intensifying and simplifying complex production processes. By increasing the cell proliferation, viability and cell-specific productivity, cQrex® KC also contributes to higher antibody titers and increased overall productivity of biological drugs.

Evonik Health Care is a leader in cellular nutrition and a global development and manufacturing partner to the world’s leading pharma and biotech companies. By leveraging six decades of industry leadership, Evonik Health Care provides the market with robust pharmaceutical-grade cell culture ingredients and solutions including amino acids, cQrex® peptides, lipids, and other 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 €18.5 billion and an operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) of €2.49 billion in 2022. Evonik goes far beyond chemistry to create innovative, profitable, and sustainable solutions for customers. About 34,000 employees work together for a common purpose: We want to improve life today and tomorrow.


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.