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ABSTRACT: In the current environment of diverse product pipelines, rapidly fluctuating market demands and growing competition from biosimilars, biotechnology companies are increasingly driven to develop innovative solutions for highly flexible and cost-effective manufacturing. To address these challenging demands, integrated continuous processing, comprised of high-density perfusion cell culture and a directly coupled continuous capture step, can be used as a universal biomanufacturing platform. This study reports the first successful demonstration of the integration of a perfusion bioreactor and a four-column periodic counter-current chromatography (PCC) system for the continuous capture of candidate protein therapeutics. Two examples are presented: (1) a monoclonal antibody (model of a stable protein) and (2) a recombinant human enzyme (model of a highly complex, less stable protein). In both cases, high-density perfusion CHO cell cultures were operated at a quasi-steady state of 50-60 × 10(6) cells/mL for more than 60 days, achieving volumetric productivities much higher than current perfusion or fed-batch processes. The directly integrated and automated PCC system ran uninterrupted for 30 days without indications of time-based performance decline. The product quality observed for the continuous capture process was comparable to that for a batch-column operation. Furthermore, the integration of perfusion cell culture and PCC led to a dramatic decrease in the equipment footprint and elimination of several non-value-added unit operations, such as clarification and intermediate hold steps. These findings demonstrate the potential of integrated continuous bioprocessing as a universal platform for the manufacture of various kinds of therapeutic proteins. Biotechnol. Bioeng. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Biotechnology and Bioengineering 06/2012; · 3.65 Impact Factor