High capacity magnetic protein A agarose beads, LOABeads PrtA, were used in the development of a new process for affinity purification of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) from non-clarified CHO cell broth using a pilot-scale magnetic separator. The LOABeads had a maximum binding capacity of 65 mg/mL and an adsorption capacity of 25-42 mg IgG/mL bead in suspension for an IgG concentration of 1 to 8 g/L. Pilot-scale separation was initially tested in a mAb capture step from 26 L clarified harvest. Small-scale experiments showed that similar mAb adsorptions were obtained in cell broth containing 40 × 106 cells/mL as in clarified supernatant. Two pilot-scale purification runs were then performed on non-clarified cell broth from fed-batch runs of 16 L, where a rapid mAb adsorption ≥96.6% was observed after 1 h. This process using 1 L of magnetic beads had an overall mAb yield of 86% and 16 times concentration factor. After this single protein A capture step, the mAb purity was similar to the one obtained by column chromatography, while the host cell protein content was very low, <10 ppm. Our results showed that this magnetic bead mAb purification process, using a dedicated pilot-scale separation device, was a highly efficient single step, which directly connected the culture to the downstream process without cell clarification. Purification of mAb directly from non-clarified cell broth without cell separation can provide significant savings in terms of resources, operation time, and equipment, compared to legacy procedure of cell separation followed by column chromatography step. © 2019 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Biotechnol. Prog., 35: e2775, 2019.
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