Separation/Purification

Performance of a Salt-Tolerant Membrane Adsorber in Flow-Through Mode

Monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) have become the most prevalent therapeutics in the biopharmaceutical industry. Their downstream purification typically involves protein A chromatography as a capture step followed by one or two additional chromatographic polishing steps. Additional unit operations dedicated specifically for viral clearance (e.g., viral inactivation and filtration) are added to ensure product safety. According to a survey of Amgen processes, after processing through a protein A column, only trace amounts of impurities such as Chinese hamster ovary cell protein (CHOP)…

Evaluation of a New Single-Use UV Sensor for Protein A Capture

As the adoption of single-use systems continues to expand beyond bags and tubing to complete process steps, a full range of sensing technologies will be needed to complement the resulting varied single-use applications. Single-use sensors must meet or exceed the performance of traditional sensing technologies in areas such as accuracy, response time, ease of use, control system integration, process compatibility, regulatory requirements, and cost. Single-use flow-through process sensors are currently available for pressure, temperature, flow, and conductivity. Here, we report…

Toward Nonantibody Platforms

Monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) remain the largest segment of the biopharmaceutical market, but they are not the only recombinant proteins in development. Remember that the first biopharmaceutical approved for sale was recombinant insulin — a hormone — back in the 1980s. And proteins aren’t the only recombinant biologics. The sector has expanded since then to include gene therapies and viral vectors, vaccines, and even cells and tissues. Companies around the world are developing such products for cancer, neurological, infectious disease, metabolic,…

A Decade of Processing

    About halfway through our first decade in publication, we became well acquainted with a new buzzword phrase in the biopharmaceutical industry: downstream bottleneck (1). This followed on the heels of a manufacturing capacity crunch that had been forecast shortly before BPI made its debut. Thanks to herculean efforts by upstream process and cell-line engineers, that crunch didn’t pan out. In its place, however, high-titer production moved the pressure downstream. Now separation and purification engineers were tasked with handling…

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…