Friday, February 7, 2014

BioProcess International: Developing an Integrated Continuous Bioprocessing Platform

Our excerpt today is by Maribel Rios,Managing Editor, BioProcess International .

Continuous upstream processing (perfusion) is not a new concept in the bioprocessing industry. Genzyme, Bayer, Centocor, and other companies have been implementing perfusion processes for many years. However, interest is now growing for extending this concept to downstream operations to create fully integrated continuous processing. During the past year, Genzyme has presented on and published about its advancement toward the development of an integrated continuous system (1). The company has completed proof-of-principle development at laboratory scale with different molecules, and the results, says Konstantin Konstantinov (vice president, commercial process development) have been “highly successful and very exciting.” I spoke with him about the technologies involved in a completely integrated continuous process and how it may affect the design of future facilities.

BPI: What are the first steps toward developing a continuous process?

KK: Our starting point is to focus on the process objectives first and then think about the facility. The process is the driver. We want to design a process that is universal, flexible, and very standardized. At the end of the day, we want to have a platform that can be used for any therapeutic protein. This is generally what happens in many industries when they mature: They come up with one harmonized process, often referred to as “the dominant design.” This is what Genzyme is trying to develop — the dominant design of the future.

BPI: How does a continuous upstream process affect downstream?

KK: The downstream conversion into continuous is more interesting than the upstream. I started working on perfusion processes more than 25 years ago, so it is not something that is very unique or that the biotechnology industry recently invented. It is improving, however, because we are using better cell lines, better media, and better cell-retention devices that allow us to operate at very high cell densities.

The newer concepts are in continuous downstream operation. Genzyme has converted the first step (capture) into continuous processing. It is directly integrated with the perfusion cell culture process without any equipment between the two operations. So the harvest hold tanks, microfiltration, and centrifuges, are all removed.

Downstream steps are integrated with the upstream steps; all the flow rates are adjusted to be the same. Integration requires that harvest coming out from the perfusion bioreactor is continuously loaded onto the capture columns directly. It should be compatible with the pH, osmolality, and other parameters without many adjustments. We try to ensure that cycle times and hold times are minimized or completely eliminated for rapid processing, which is especially beneficial for proteins that are sensitive to degradation during any hold steps.

You can view the full article here
BPI will be joining us February 10-12 for IBC's 2nd Annual Flexible Facilities conference taking place this February. To learn more, view our agenda. Register with code FLEX14BLOG and save 20% off of the standard rate.We hope to see you February 24-25 in Berkley, CA!

Share this article with your social network, just click below to share now!

No comments :

Post a Comment