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Keywords:

  • Protein A;
  • chromatography;
  • integrity monitoring;
  • HETP;
  • transition analysis

The purification of recombinant proteins and antibodies using large packed-bed columns is a key component in most biotechnology purification processes. Because of its efficiency and established practice in the industry, column chromatography is a state of the art technology with a proven capability for removal of impurities, viral clearance, and process efficiency. In general, the validation and monitoring of chromatographic operations—especially of critical process parameters—is required to ensure robust product quality and compliance with health authority expectations. One key aspect of chromatography that needs to be monitored is the integrity of the packed bed, since this is often critical to achieving sufficient separation of protein species. Identification of potential column integrity issues before they occur is important for both product quality and economic efficiency. In this article, we examine how transition analysis techniques can be utilized to monitor column integrity. A case study on the application of this method during a large scale Protein A capture step in an antibody purification process shows how it can assist with improving process knowledge and increasing the efficiency of manufacturing operations. © 2013 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Biotechnol. Prog., 30:383–390, 2014