An interesting new paper from Nature Biotechnology highlights the risks and challenges in minimizing contamination of cell based therapeutic or diagnostic products. A key issue is to use filtering technologies but even more important is to start with defined components such as defined media. They mention how the use of media that uses FBS can cause issues downstream. Summary: "Recombinant protein therapeutics, vaccines, and plasma products have a long record of safety. However, the use of cell culture to produce recombinant proteins is still susceptible to contamination with viruses. These contaminations cost millions of dollars to recover from, can lead to patients not receiving therapies, and are very rare, which makes learning from past events difficult. A consortium of biotech companies, together with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has convened to collect data on these events. This industry-wide study provides insights into the most common viral contaminants, the source of those contaminants, the cell lines affected, corrective actions, as well as the impact of such events. These results have implications for the safe and effective production of not just current products, but also emerging cell and gene therapies which have shown much therapeutic promise."