PhytoChol®: Plant-derived cholesterol for mRNA delivery, gene therapy and cell culture

Your trusted source of high-purity non-animal-derived cholesterol

As one of the most important building blocks of life, cholesterol is an essential raw material used in innovative technologies from lipid nanoparticles for mRNA delivery to cell culture media. Evonik is an experienced provider of system solutions to meet your development needs, whether for excipients in parenteral drug and gene delivery, or additives to boost cell culture media.

Traditionally, cholesterol is extracted from animal origins such as sheep wool. However, these sources can be linked to undesired immunological responses, inconsistent quality and may require more stringent regulatory control.

Our plant-derived cholesterol PhytoChol® provides you with a secure and stable supply, guaranteed to be non-animal-derived. PhytoChol® is available in two grades that are tailored to the specific needs of injectable and biopharmaceutical cell culture applications.

PhytoChol® Inject: parenteral grade cholesterol for nucleic acid therapeutics and mRNA vaccines beyond COVID-19

Cholesterol is an important functional excipient for parenteral mRNA-based drug delivery systems. As part of the lipid coating that protects the mRNA, cholesterol can modulate drug release, enhance the ability of the drug formulation to penetrate cell membranes, and provide a stabilization effect.

PhytoChol® Inject is Evonik’s high-purity, vegetal-derived cholesterol suitable for parenteral applications. This ultra-low-endotoxin cholesterol provides a first-rate alternative to traditional animal-based cholesterol, is USP-NF, Ph.Eur and JP compliant, and can be provided in the quantities required for lipid nanoparticle (LNP) manufacturing.

An increasing number of companies are moving away from animal-derived materials.  Regulatory agencies often require proof that any animal material is safeguarded against the risk of disease transmission. Today, many patients prefer non-animal derived products for ethical, religious, or personal reasons.

For the past year, demand for lipids (including cholesterol) has far exceeded supply. Evonik has responded quickly to this market need to meet the increased demand for cholesterol for pharmaceutical liposomal drug delivery. PhytoChol® Inject can provide you with a reliable source of high-quality, multi-compendial, non-animal-derived lipid excipient.

PhytoChol® BioPharma: a phytochemical powder to optimize your cell culture

Supplementing a cell culture medium with cholesterol can improve cell culture outcomes or even be essential for some cell lines. Chemically defined cell culture media that do not use fetal bovine serum (FBS) and natural lipids often require the addition of cholesterol to help improve cell growth, protein production, virus production and infectivity of produced viruses.

Evonik recognizes the need to provide animal-free cell culture solutions and offers PhytoChol® BioPharma for use in a wide range of cell lines including NS0 cell culture for protein production, culture of insect cell lines and culture of packaging cell lines for virus production.

Evonik’s PhytoChol® BioPharma is a tailor-made solution to help you optimize your cell culture formulations. As a pure powder, PhytoChol® BioPharma has been especially developed for use in cell culture media formulation. Before addition to the cell culture medium the powder can, for example, be dissolved in ethanol and formulated with other lipids and surfactants depending on intended use.

From drug delivery to cell culture, our system solution PhytoChol® provides you with the following advantages:

  • Completely non-animal derived
  • Secure and stable supply
  • Large-scale manufacturing
  • High-purity, consistent quality

Looking for information compiled in one document? Our brochures offer an overview of relevant details in just a few pages.

Ready to try PhytoChol®?

PhytoChol® Inject and PhytoChol® BioPharma are available in cGMP quality. To request material or documents for your chosen product, or to discuss any questions or projects with us, please get in touch with us.