Canadian Manufacturing

McMaster, Sartorius Stedim Biotech team up to advance biomanufacturing processes

The partnership aims to improve manufacturing processes of antibody and virus-based treatments for diseases such as COVID-19, cancers, and genetic disorders.

August 23, 2021  by CM Staff

International biopharmaceutical supplier Sartorius Stedim Biotech is partnering with McMaster University, in Hamilton, Ontario, to improve manufacturing processes of antibody and virus-based treatments for diseases such as COVID-19, cancers, and genetic disorders.

Using a multi-column chromatography system provided by Sartorius Stedim Biotech, the McMaster team says it will “perfect” a process for the purification of therapeutic viruses that is more effective and cheaper than those currently available, paving the way for new and more affordable treatments to reach patients with a variety of needs.

Chromatography is a critical purification technology in biomanufacturing – to produce biotherapeutics, scientists use a bioreactor with specialized cell lines and customized growth media; next, the biotherapeutic must go through a series of purification steps, often with duplicate steps to satisfy the requirements of regulatory bodies. Sartorius Stedim Biotechs’ multi-column chromatography system uses parallel processing strategies, which the company says makes the process more resource and cost-efficient.

“This research will push the envelope in leading advanced, cutting-edge research in bio-manufacturing,” said John Preston, associate dean, research, innovation and external relations in the Faculty of Engineering. “Establishing industry-friendly, collaborative environments is critical in solving real-world problems.”

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“Our ultimate goal is to perfect the downstream chromatography process by combining detailed experimental work with advanced process modelling concepts,” said David Latulippe, associate professor of Chemical Engineering. “This way, we can control the outcome and fix the processes on site, as production is happening, so everything is always ‘on spec’.” Currently, monoclonal antibodies are the leading biotherapeutic being used to fight against COVID-19.

As part of the partnership, Sartorius Stedim Biotech will provide student training opportunities at their research and development facilities in North America and Europe. One graduate of McMaster’s Chemical and Bioengineering program has already started working on this project, and another will join the team in September.