Effect of Sialic Acid on Mammalian Cell Culture and Protein Expression: A Potential Productivity Enhancer for Biopharmaceutical Cell Culture Processes Improved productivity of the two most commonly used cell lines in the biopharmaceutical industry, such as human embryonic kidney 293 (HEK293) and Chinese hamster ovary (CHO), could reduce production costs and increase manufacturing capacity. One method for increasing protein productivity is the addition of antioxidants during the cell culture process. In this study, we examined the effect of sialic acid (SA) on one HEK293 cell line and two CHO cell lines. The addition of SA to HEK293 cell led to a higher viable cell density (VCD), viability (Via), and a lower lactate content in the later stage of cultures. Further results showed that SA reduced the reactive oxygen species (ROS), improved cell viability, reduced lactate production, and increased antibody expression by more than 20% in the later stage of the two CHO cell lines cultures.