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Definition and Dynamic Control of a Continuous Chromatography Process Independent of Cell Culture Titer and Impurities A

Chmielowski, Rebecca A., Mathiasson, Linda, Blom, Hans, Go, Daniel, Ehring, Hanno, Khan, Heera, Li, Hong, Cutler, Collette, Lacki, Karol, Tugcu, Nihal, Roush, David
Journal of chromatography 2017
absorbance, cell culture, continuous systems, countercurrent chromatography, detection limit, feedstocks, models, monoclonal antibodies, process control, product quality
Advances in cell culture technology have enabled the production of antibody titers upwards of 30g/L. These highly productive cell culture systems can potentially lead to productivity bottlenecks in downstream purification due to lower column loadings, especially in the primary capture chromatography step. Alternative chromatography solutions to help remedy this bottleneck include the utilization of continuous processing systems such as periodic counter-current chromatography (PCC).Recent studies have provided methods to optimize and improve the design of PCC for cell culture titers up to about 3g/L. This paper defines a continuous loading strategy for PCC that is independent of cell culture background and encompasses cell culture titers up to about 31g/L. Initial experimentation showed a challenge with determining a difference in change in UV280nm signal (ie. ΔUV) between cell culture feed and monoclonal antibody (mAb) concentration. Further investigation revealed UV280nm absorbance of the cell culture feedstock without antibody was outside of the linear range of detection for a given cell pathlength. Additional experimentation showed the difference in ΔUV for various cell culture feeds can be either theoretically predicted by Beer’s Law given a known absorbance of the media background and impurities or experimentally determined using various UV280nm cell pathlengths. Based on these results, a 0.35mm pathlength at UV280nm was chosen for dynamic control to overcome the background signal. The pore diffusion model showed good agreement with the experimental frontal analysis data, which resulted in definition of a ΔUV setpoint range between 20-70% for 3C-PCC experiments. Product quality of the elution pools was acceptable between various cell culture feeds and titers up to about 41g/L. Results indicated the following ΔUV setpoints to achieve robust dynamic control and maintain 3C-PCC yield: ∼20-45% for titers greater than 10g/L depending on UV absorbance of the HCCF and ∼45-70% for titers of up to 10g/L independent of UV absorbance of the HCCF. The strategy and results presented in this paper show column loading in a continuous chromatography step can be dynamically controlled independent of the cell culture feedstock and titer, and allow for enhanced process control built into the downstream continuous operations.