Driving Advancements in Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing

Integrated continuous biomanufacturing on pilot scale for acid‐sensitive monoclonal antibodies

23 Apr 2022

Abstract

In this study, we demonstrated the first, to our knowledge, integrated continuous bioprocess (ICB) designed for the production of acid‐sensitive monoclonal antibodies, prone to aggregate at low pH, on pilot scale. A high cell density perfusion culture, stably maintained at 100 × 106 cells/ml, was integrated with the downstream process, consisting of a capture step with the recently developed Protein A ligand, ZCa; a solvent/detergent‐based virus inactivation; and two ionexchange chromatography steps. The use of a mild pH in the downstream process makes this ICB suitable for the purification of acid‐sensitive monoclonal antibodies. Integration and automation of the downstream process were achieved using the Orbit software, and the same equipment and control system were used in initial small‐scale trials and the pilot‐scale downstream process. High recovery yields of around 90% and a productivity close to 1 g purified antibody/L/day were achieved,
with a stable glycosylation pattern and efficient removal of impurities, such as host cell proteins and DNA. Finally, negligible levels of antibody aggregates were detected owing to the mild conditions used throughout the process. The present work paves the way for future industrial‐scale integrated continuous biomanufacturing of all types of antibodies, regardless of acid stability.

Keywords: antibody aggregation, antibody manufacturing, Chinese Hamster Ovary cells, continuous chromatography, integrated continuous bioprocess, perfusion culture, ZCa ligand

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