Designing an optimized purification process means maximizing yield and purity, and at the same time controlling costs. So, you remove a lot of bulk impurities during the first steps, and focus on high yield steps at the end, when every gram is precious. If you’re purifying mAbs, it would also be good to remove impurities before affinity chromatography to protect the protein A column and reduce the need for cleaning in place (CIP).
When it comes to many serious and challenging diseases, healthcare has reached a point of unsustainability, due to drug costs. For example, sustained therapy for an autoimmune disease or cancer, involving large amounts of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), might not be a viable option for simple economic reasons. As a consequence, healthcare authorities want to reduce the cost of drugs by encouraging the development of biosimilars. When biological drugs are off-patent they can be copied – which is cheaper than developing the novel drug, but still challenging because of the need to demonstrate the same efficacy and safety. Drug purification, a key to successful manufacture of biologicals, must also adapt by exploiting products and technologies that lower the overall cost of production.
Since the 1980’s, monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) have revolutionized healthcare and continue to do so. A short history of mAb approvals shows their increasing sophistication and targeting of disease mechanisms – even down to purifying them for medicinal use.
Recovery of the biological activity of your target substance is a priority, and it’s important to check for its pH and ionic strength stability values...
Choosing a mammalian cell line or other type of host is as critical a question as any other in the complex world of monoclonal antibody (mAb) manufacture. We take a look at the present status, with fed batch Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) cell culture in a dominant position, and reflect on the ever-present need to keep upstream and downstream development teams talking to each other.
When an IEX resin has been used for some time, impurities may build up in the column causing loss of resolution or increase in back pressure (shown on the pressure monitor or seen by gap formation on the top of the column)...
As our understanding of diseases at the molecular level increases, so does the potential for monoclonal antibody (mAb) - related therapies. Platform approaches to mAb production, including purification, are a key to their successful manufacture and, in particular, streamline process development.
The global diabetes pandemic has created a massive demand for insulin, especially in China, which is expected to soon have half the world’s diabetes patients. Meeting this demand means developing extremely efficient production methods that can supply affordable insulin with high purity. A promising approach is to add an orthogonal step upstream the main reverse-phase chromatography (RPC) peptide purification to increase purity and also guard the expensive high-performance RPC columns from bioburden and stringent cleaning-in-place procedures.
The purity requirements for therapeutic peptides are very stringent, but synthesis generates a crude peptide mixture containing failed sequences and chemical variants, while recombinant peptides have a considerable bioburden from the host cell. These crude feeds can foul the reverse phase chromatography (RPC) columns commonly used in peptide purification. Introducing an orthogonal purification step upstream significantly reduces the burden on the expensive high performance RPC column, increases the peptide yield and purity, and also prolongs column lifetime.
Five of the top ten best selling drugs in 2017 were mAbs and the global mAbs market is expected to reach USD 219 billion by the end of 2023. The mAbs entering the clinic today are highly engineered and are presenting new challenges in purification. When patients are treated repeatedly with high doses and over long periods, the accumulative effects of impurities can be substantial, so the purity requirements of mAb drugs are very stringent.
We've summarized some of the essentials of mAb purification to give you a quick and broad overview of this fast-growing and exciting field.