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Trends in Process Affinity Chromatography

By: Thomas C. Ransohoff
Reprinted with permission of Bioprocess News D&MD Publications, October 2002

Affinity separations have been used for purification of biopharmaceuticals for many years and are attractive due to the strength and specificity of affinity interactions, which can result in a very high degree of purification and concentration in one step. Practitioners have historically capitalized on the use of known ligands for purification of a variety of proteins, and, the broad use of Protein A for production of monoclonal antibody products has validated the viability of process-scale affinity separations. Recently, several groups have been successful at applying broadly-applicable discovery approaches, such as combinatorial chemistry and phage display technology, to the field of affinity separations. As improved expression technologies continue to reduce the “upstream” cost of producing biopharmaceuticals, the development and application of these and other approaches in affinity separations will be an important element in meeting the need for more cost-effective “downstream” purification processes.