Rentschler and Boehringer pioneer novel antibody purification technology
Ingelheim/Laupheim/Biberach – German bioprocessing specialists have baged 3.2m euros from the German Research Ministry to develop a pioneering scalable purification method that could cut the cost of downstream protein processing by up to 90 percent. A research consortium including Rentschler Biotechnology GmbH and Boehinger Ingelheim headed by former m-phasys and m-fold CEO Prof. Hans Kiefer (Hochschule Biberach) succeeded in crystallisation of a therapeutic monoclonal antibody with no loss of activity. The team is now is in the process of bringing their work up to pilot scale. The goal is to replace the costly protein A-capture and subsequent polishing steps of antibody drugs into a one-step operation. Because protein crystals show a highly regular arrangement of the same protein, the approach aims to employ crystallisation to exclude impurities automatically through the use of organic solvents, PEG, or salt.