Using ultrasound technology to improve biotech drug economics and safety

1st April 2013

In the high-stakes race to bring new biotech drugs to market faster, manufacturers rely on innovative technologies to improve yields and safeguard purity.

Ultrasound technology as a diagnostic tool for process chromatography, a critical step in the purification of monoclonal antibodies (Mabs), vaccines, plasma and peptides, is the latest advance for improving production of drug therapies.

The study on how ultrasound monitoring of process scale column chromatography packing offers biotech manufacturers, for the first time, a means of confirming column integrity that can significantly increase productivity, lower costs and improve drug purity, was presented at the 16th Annual International Symposium on Preparative/Process Chromatography (PREP) in San Francisco recently.

Pall Corporation is the exclusive worldwide marketer of the Euroflow chromatography columns, packing and ultrasound technologies that are the subject of the study.

Chromatography columns are widely used to purify monoclonal antibodies and other proteins. Biological solutions pass through columns packed with small porous beads (media) that capture or separate target protein molecules through diffusion and chemical interaction.

Packing the columns is a difficult process to control, requiring extensive training and experience. Improperly packed columns can result in huge cost overruns due to time delays, process failures and additional handling of the media.

Utilising ultrasound technology, a process operator will immediately be able to monitor and control the rate at which a column bed is formed and compressed.

Pall and Euroflow plan to commercialise ultrasound technology for process chromatography applications later this year.





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