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Application of Monoliths for Downstream Processing of Clotting Factor IX

Production and downstream processing in biotechnology requires fast and accurate control of each step in the process. Liquid chromatography of biopolymers on so-called soft supports is typically slow, often causing significant product degradation. One way of improving these boundary conditions in liquid chromatography is the use of monolithic adsorbents. The basis for fast separations with such media is a reduced mass transfer resistance owing to the fact that pore diffusion is practically non-existent [1]. Chromatography with compact, porous units such as monolithic columns is being used increasingly for analytical and preparative separations of biopolymers with apparent molecular mass ranging from several thousand to up to several million [2]. This paper describes the use of a CIM® Convective Interaction Media [3] for fast in-process analyses and preparative separations (up-scaling) of pharmaceutically relevant biopolymers such as clotting factor IX. Human factor IX is a vitamin K-dependent multidomain glycoprotein synthesized in liver [4]. The absence or a defect of factor IX causes haemophilia B, a genetic disease in which the clotting cascade is disturbed. The concentration of factor IX in human plasma is about 5 μg/ml (0.1 μM). Because of the low concentration in human plasma, isolation of clotting factor IX has been performed by a combination of different chromatographic methods. However, it has not been possible to remove vitronectin, one of the final contaminants from factor IX purified with conventional gel supports used in the manufacturing process of commercial factor IX preparations. This paper investigates the application of CIM® monolithic columns for the separation of vitronectin from factor IX and fast in-process control of factor IX [5].

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