Continuous precipitation?filtration process for initial capture of a monoclonal antibody product using a four?stage countercurrent hollow fiber membrane washing step
The significant increase in product titers, coupled with the growing focus on continuous bioprocessing, has renewed interest in using precipitation as a low?cost alternative to Protein A chromatography for the primary capture of monoclonal antibody (mAb) products. In this work, a commercially relevant mAb was purified from clarified cell culture fluid using a tubular flow precipitation reactor with dewatering and washing provided by tangential flow microfiltration. The particle morphology was evaluated using an inline high?resolution optical probe, providing quantitative data on the particle size distribution throughout the precipitation process. Data were obtained in both a lab?built 2?stage countercurrent washing system and a commercial countercurrent contacting skid that provided 4 stages of continuous washing. The processes were operated continuously for 2?h with overall mAb yield of 92?±?3% and DNA removal of nearly 3 logs in the 4?stage system. The high DNA clearance was achieved by selective redissolution of the mAb using a low pH acetate buffer. Host cell protein clearance was 0.59?±?0.08 logs, comparable to that based on model predictions. The process mass intensity was slightly better than typical Protein A processes and could be significantly improved by preconcentration of the antibody feed material.