3M announces collaborative research project with UCL

3M has commissioned experts at University College London to conduct in-depth research into the performance of its Emphaze AEX Hybrid Purifier.

The project will examine how 3M’s product can be used to enhance continuous processing within the biotechnology industry. Work is now underway at UCL’s Department of Biochemical Engineering, and is scheduled to run for six months. The findings will be published in a white paper, which 3M and UCL expect to submit to academic journals early next year.

The 3M Emphaze AEX Hybrid Purifier, part of 3M’s Emphaze single use product platform, utilises anion exchange chromatographic functionality in a flow through, non-woven based, single use device. The goal of the project is to quantify the value of purifying the cell culture fluid with the 3M Emphaze AEX Hybrid Purifier before the continuous chromatography operation. This product can potentially reduce the time required for non-loading steps by reducing soluble impurities upstream of capture chromatography. The UCL study will investigate this hypothesis further, providing quantitative independent results.

Dr Hani El-Sabbahy, a 3M biopharmaceutical application engineering specialist, said “Continuous processing is an exciting and major trend in the industry, and has been for several years now. We believe the 3M Emphaze AEX Hybrid Purifier can support continuous processing by reducing cost and enhancing productivity. We look forward to seeing the results of this study, which will supplement our existing and ongoing research.”

Daniel Bracewell, Professor of Bioprocess Analysis at UCL Biochemical Engineering, is leading the project. He said “Monoclonal antibodies are a remarkable pharmaceutical industry success story, delivering, for example, cancer and rheumatoid arthritis therapies. As such, this research project has the potential to deliver some truly exciting results, as it will test the capacity of 3M’s Emphaze AEX Hybrid Purifier to enable the adoption of continuous manufacturing, which could significantly reduce costs for this product class.”

Earlier this year, 3M commissioned the National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT) to carry out further research into the 3M Emphaze AEX Hybrid Purifier. The results of NIBRT’s two separate studies are also expected to be published early next year.

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