Separation/Purification

Key Downstream Problems Decline While Industry Continues to Demand New Technologies

Downstream problems for biomanufacturers finally appear to be lessening. Over the past six years, demand for better purification has topped the list of biomanufacturing areas in need of improvement. This year, however, it appears that purification woes — though still a hot topic — are cooling off. After seven years of measuring the impact on capacity of specific biomanufacturing operations, preliminary data from BioPlan Associates’ ninth annual survey shows that activities associated with both optimizing internal downstream processes (DSPs) and…

Production and Purification of a PER.C6-Expressed IgM Antibody Therapeutic

    Immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies have been used to treat cancer for many years (1). Another class of antibodies—immunoglobulin M (IgM)—has been overlooked in spite of offering unique advantages that make them highly desirable as cancer therapeutics. Serving a valuable function in our innate immune system, IgM antibodies are the first to be secreted when an abnormal cell is present (2). These antibodies play a critical role in recognition and elimination of infectious particles (3,4), in removal of intracellular…

Optimization, Robustness, and Scale-Up of MAb Purification

The biopharmaceutical industry needs faster and more efficient development of new drugs and their market introduction as well as shorter process development times for both upstream and downstream operations. It has become more commonplace to use high-throughput development techniques to save time (1). Development is also sped up by applying platform technologies based on the unsurpassed selectivity of protein A resins (2,3,4,5,6), which is the foundation for downstream processing of monoclonal antibodies (MAbs). This is the second of two articles…

Rapid Process Development for Purification of a MAb

Time and flexibility are essential in purification process development for biopharmaceuticals. Easy translation of experimental ideas into process steps and insight into the effects of changes in chromatography parameters both help speed development and contribute toward achieving quality by design (QbD) objectives. An ability to scientifically design product and process characteristics that meet specific objectives is crucial. Opportunities to eliminate manually intensive steps all support an enhanced development process. A typical monoclonal antibody (MAb) purification process includes three chromatographic purification…

Working with a Powerful and Robust Mixed-Mode Resin for Protein Purification

    Orthogonal methods for assuring robust downstream purification are critical to today’s demanding downstream process industry. Regulatory scrutiny on the immunogenic propensity of drugs has increased and broadened over the past two decades. Although immunogenicity can come from a number of sources, common concerns include host-cell proteins and aggregates. Constantly lurking in the background are other issues such as viral clearance, DNA levels, and so on. Those problems can be addressed simultaneously with the mixed-mode chromatographic support known as…

Where Will Technology Take Cell Therapy?

    The cell therapy industry’s biggest challenge is in manufacturing. Technologies are needed to support expansion of large numbers of cells for commercial production. A number of sources are presenting options: e.g., standard two-dimensional tissue cultures that “grow up” to Corning HYPERFlask and CellSTACK or Nunc Cell Factory systems; hollow-fiber–based equipment; and disposable bags and traditional stirred-tank bioreactors. Each has its place and application, but how can companies choose among them? Where and when do they initiate scale-up process…

Understanding Virus Preparations Using Nanoscale Particle Characterization

As regulators become increasingly stringent in demanding a fuller understanding of whole virus preparations, researchers and manufacturers are looking beyond well-known characterization methodologies. Existing technologies for quantifying and characterizing viral preparations such as infectivity assays, quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), and protein assays provide crucial information but tell only half the story. We evaluated a unique technology developed by NanoSight Ltd. (www.nanosight.com) for visualizing viruses in liquid suspensions, measuring their approximate concentration, and characterizing their state of aggregation. Information generated…

Modeling Perfusion Processes in Biopharmaceutical Production

    Perfusion processes are considered more difficult to model than batch-based fermentation processes because up to a third of a perfusion-based campaign is spent outside “steady-state” production mode. Variabilities in cell density, titer, and harvest rate (HR) during ramp-up necessitate planning and explicit modeling of variabilities in these processes and their subsequent downstream operations. Longer continuous fermentation times require more rigorous attention to risk than do batch-based systems. A flexible purification platform must respond to changing fermentation conditions. Here…

Improving Process Economy with Expanded-Bed Adsorption Technology

    Most biopharmaceutical processes involve purifying proteins and peptides from various sources. Typically, purification schemes contain multiple unit operations, including several chromatographic steps to ensure safe removal of critical impurities and contaminants. Each step affects the overall process economy by increasing operational cost and process time and by causing product losses. Carefully designing a purification procedure to reduce the number of steps is an efficient way to reach high process economy. Expanded-bed adsorption (EBA) technology is a powerful alternative…

Rapid and Scalable Microplate Development of a Two-Step Purification Process

    High-throughput screening and process development methods are becoming more widely used in the biopharmaceutical industry. Recent development of high-expression (high–target-titer) recombinant culture methods has enhanced the need to also develop more effective separation products, methods, and processes (1). Part of the solution would be chromatographic resins offering higher capacities and flow rates.       However, developing an optimized purification process that involves several chromatographic steps can consume significant time and samples. In addition, a purification process developed…