Downstream Processing

Introducing Disposable Systems into Biomanufacturing

Single-use (disposable) systems are being considered and introduced into many biopharmaceutical processes because manufacturers have identified significant benefits they offer over traditional reusable systems. These benefits are often more evident when a new process and product are being developed. Lower capital expenditures, shorter development times for new facilities, and reduced validation costs are some of the reasons single-use technology may be selected. Here, a contract manufacturer’s case study is described in which an existing stainless steel system was completely replaced…

The Emerging Generation of Chromatography Tools for Virus Purification

Chromatography media and methods have evolved continuously since their introduction a half century ago. Traditional methods use columns packed with porous particles. They still dominate chromatography applications in the field of virus purification, but the past 20 years have witnessed the ascendance of alternative supports, namely membranes and monoliths. These newer media exploit the familiar surface chemistries — ion exchange, hydrophobic interaction, and affinity — but they use unique architectures that offer compelling performance features. The Architecture of Chromatography Media…

How to Improve Your Implementation of Two-Dimensional Preparative HPLC

The biologics and natural product industries rely heavily on separation technology. Sample analyses are undertaken on the analytical scale, and isolation and purification are undertaken at the preparative scale. Key target components are often isolated to provide standard reference materials for future product quality assurance testing. These products are often very complex mixtures, requiring separation systems to have a high peak capacity for both analytical and preparative scale separations. A technique gaining popularity among companies that require the isolation of…

Modeling Flow Distribution in Large-Scale Chromatographic Columns with Computational Fluid Dynamics

Column chromatography remains a key unit operation in downstream processing of biopharmaceuticals. For most commercial processes, two to three chromatography steps are used to remove process-and product-related proteins, DNA and adventitious agents. As the biopharmaceutical industry has increased its product offerings and related demands, downstream processes have fast become a bottleneck (1, 2). Many commercial and clinical processes include a number of cycles on one or more chromatography steps to process the harvest from a single production batch. PRODUCT FOCUS:…

Proactive Debottlenecking

It wasn’t so long ago that people in the biotherapeutics industry talked about a “capacity bottleneck” to describe the difficulty faced by bioprocessors as their many products moved forth through development to require production at larger and larger scales (1). Expression technologies at the time were making proteins at levels suggesting that huge amounts of manufacturing capacity would be needed soon. Just after the turn of the century, product titers (in terms of protein present per liter of culture broth/supernatant)…

Reducing Microbial Contamination Risk in Biotherapeutic Manufacturing

The risk of contamination (especially microbiological) is always an area for special attention in biopharmaceutical processes. No matter the process stage, whether upstream of a bioreactor or in the final filling of a sterile product, effective contamination control continues to be a critical requirement, so any opportunities for improvement may justify further investigation. Even with established validated processes, demands for higher purity and increased sterility assurance may require manufacturers to reassess their procedures and technologies. New processes present an even…

Multicolumn Chromatography

Downstream processing is a sequence of unit process operations that purify biopharmaceuticals and prepare them primarily for bulk formulation (Figure 1). Typically, a large volume (hundreds to thousands of liters containing kilograms of therapeutic protein) is delivered from an upstream fermentation or cell culture process — and this ends up as a small volume (a few liters) of purified concentrate product after processing. Figure 1: () For many years, biopharmaceutical manufacturers have been working to increase capacity, address upstream production…

Anything But Chromatography?

In 2006 a new term was coined that is now all too familiar in the industry: downstream bottleneck. With observations of a slow cycle of downstream process improvements indicating potential solutions in the next five years, downstream processing is a very hot topic at conferences and in publications. Thus, the Recovery and Purification track will be highly focused on this pertinent and timely issue. Beyond discussing the bottleneck itself head-on in the opening sessions, the track will focus on alternatives…

Austria Welcomes BioProcessors

When it comes to agriculture, the people of Austria are among the most dead-set against so-called “genetically modified organisms” of any population in Europe (1). But as is so often the case elsewhere, their attitude toward biotechnology used in medicine is much more friendly. This may have to do with the country’s traditional strength in environmental biotech (ranging from wastewater treatment and organic waste composting to anaerobic digestion for biogas generation) and also food biotechnology. That is the suggestion of…