Chromatography is a widely used method in the biotechnology industry and functions to separate the desired product from process and product related impurities. There is a multitude of resins available based on different modalities (such as charge, hydrophobicity, and affinity) to provide a spectrum of approaches to meet the separation challenges of the diverse products. The challenge of developing viral antigen purification processes is addressed in this method. A unique feature of this product class is that in order to protect against more than one strain of an antigen, vaccines are often multivalent. This entails multiple production processes for each antigen, all of which will require separate development and validation. Ideally, a universal purification method is sought, but differences in the protein subunits (frequently used as the antigens) make this challenging and often-bespoke purification steps are required. This means process development for the chromatographic stages of these products can be particularly challenging and labour intensive. With the numerous choices available, making critical process decisions that are usually unique to each product, process, and strain, can be costly and time-consuming. To address this, scale down purification at <1.0 mL column volume and automation approaches are increasingly applied to increase throughput. In this work, a method is described wherein a Tecan Freedom EVO® automated liquid handler is deployed for the evaluation of different resin chemistries and buffer conditions to find a suitable purification strategy. This method allows for the rapid evaluation of the separation viral antigens where limited information on chromatography behavior is known at the early stages of process development. Here, we demonstrate the methodology firstly by explaining the automated purification script and secondly by applying the script for an efficient purification development for different serotypes of rotavirus antigens.
- Process development
- High-throughput process development (HTPD)
- Rotavirus antigens