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Application of monoliths for plasmid DNA purification: Development and transfer to production

J. Urthaler, R. Schlegl, A. Podgornik, A. Štrancar, A. Jungbauer, R. Necina

Journal of Chromatography A 1065 (2005) 93-106

The demand of high-purity plasmid DNA (pDNA) for gene-therapy and genetic vaccination is still increasing. For the large scale production of pharmaceutical grade plasmids generic and economic purification processes are needed. Most of the current processes for pDNA production use at least one chromatography step, which always constitutes as the key-step in the purification sequence. Monolithic chromatographic supports are an alternative to conventional supports due to their excellent mass transfer properties and their high binding capacity for pDNA. Anion-exchange chromatography is the most popular chromatography method for plasmid separation, since polynucleotides are negatively charged independent of the buffer conditions. For the implementation of a monolith-based anion exchange step into a pDNA purification process detailed screening experiments were performed. These studies included supports, ligand-types and ligand-densities and optimization of resolution and productivity. For this purpose model plasmids with a size of 4.3 and 6.9 kilo base pairs (kbp) were used. It could be shown, that up-scaling to the production scale using 800 ml CIM Convective Interaction Media radial flow monoliths is possible under low pressure conditions. CIM DEAE was successfully implemented as intermediate step of the cGMP pDNA manufacturing process. Starting from 200 l fermentation aliquots pilot scale purification runs were performed in order to prove scale-up and to predict further up-scaling to 8 l tube monolithic columns. The analytical results obtained from these runs confirmed suitability for pharmaceutical applications.

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