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2022

Sample displacement chromatography (SDC) is a chromatographic technique that utilizes differences in relative binding affinities of components in a sample mixture under chromatographic conditions. Here, we use SDC approach with CIM® C4 HLD monoliths under hydrophobic interaction chromatography (HIC) conditions to separate plasmid DNA (pDNA) isoforms under overloading conditions, where supercoiled (SC) isoform acts as a displacer of open circular (OC) or linear isoform. High purity of SC isoform is beneficial for use of plasmids as vaccines, transfecting agents for production of gene therapy viral vectors, or as starting material for linearization prior to IVT reaction in production of mRNA vaccines.

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Adenovirus is well-know gene therapy tool that gained attention as a promising vaccine delivery vehicle, specially during Covid-19 pandemics, where it was used to deliver sequence for protein S (S). Multiple serotypes have been tested in clinical trials for various applications, the most common one being human adenovirus serotype 5 (Ad5). With this in mind, we chose Ad5-S construct with GFP tag as a model vector to develop upstream process (USP) and supporting analytical tools.

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Agarose gel electrophoresis (AGE) analysis is an important method for monitoring of plasmid DNA (pDNA) quality, with ability to separate pDNA isoforms (sc, oc, lin, multimer). Plasmid linearization can be monitored for purposes of producing starting material for mRNA production. Electrophoretic conditions and, more importantly, matrix used for sample dilution before gel loading can affect analytical results. We have observed that purified linear pDNA shows an additional band in AGE analysis of the sample in water medium, which can lead to misinterpretation of results. 

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Monoliths are commonly used for separation of empty and full AAV capsids on analytical and preparative scale. PrimaS approach for AAV separation employs an ascending pH gradient, which can be sensitive towards small changes in chromatographic parameters. In present work 200 µL testing units extracted from large CIMmultus PrimaS monolithic columns, were employed for the adjustment of critical chromatographic parameters.

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Recombinant adeno-associated viral (rAAV) vectors are the leading gene delivery tool for treatment of a variety of diseases. While several rAAV mediated therapies have been approved so far, and many more are in clinical trials, rAAV production still faces many challenges. Key goal of rAAV upstream process development is achievieng high viral titer together with a sufficient percentage of full capsids. Moreover, analysis of complex upstream harvest samples can be challenging. Classical analytical methods such as ddPCR/ELISA offer limited information due to differences in sample preparation and basic principles for detecting empty and full capsids. Method is also time consuming and therefore less useful for following rAAV production process in real time. To overcome these limitations, we developed a PATfix Valve Switch analytical method that is based on ion exchange high pressure liquid chromatography (IEX-HPLC) and can be successfully applied for analysis of empty/full ratios in crude upstream samples.

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Standard 96-well design offers a great advantage for screening many samples or conditions and supports process automatization. Our approach was multi-parallel screening of different mobile phases for rAAV capture step using CIM® SO3 0.05 mL Monolithic 96-well Plates. Buffers of different pH, sodium chloride concentrations and use of Poloxamer 188 were screened to purify AAV2/9 clarified lysate obtained from Sf9 cells. Sample was pretreated by tangential flow filtration (TFF) coupled with nuclease treatment – Kryptonase. It was shown that the optimal conditions were buffers of pH 3.5, 500 mM NaCl, with addition of Poloxamer 188. Verification of results with selected buffer resulted in high capacity (1.44E14 capsids/mL SO3), great recovery (87.7 %) and excellent protein and DNA reduction (99.98 and 99.25 %).

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In each adeno associated virus (AAV) downstream process one of the key steps is enrichment of full capsids. This could be achieved by density gradient ultracentrifugation however a main drawback is its scalability. A more common approach is liquid chromatography using ion exchange chemistries, which based on particles’ charge differences, enables separation of full (F) capsids and product related impurities including non functioning AAV capsids (empty, partially filled, misfolded and wrongly packaged genome or other DNA containing subspecies).

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Extracellular vesicles (EV) are lipid bound products secreted by cells. Among them, exosomes have great potential for clinical applications. Animal and human-derived components used in cell culture, such as fetal bovine serum (FBS), naturally contain exosomes that can cross-contaminate the desired product. In order to study exosomes derived from cells of interest, multiple producers have come up with exosome-depleted FBS (EV (-) FBS) generated using different approaches. In this work we evaluated commercially available EV (-) FBS supplements for residual exosome content and tested their performance in upstream exosome production process. The analysis was performed with PATfix high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) system using PATfix size exclusion (SEC) analytical method.

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Removal of impurities generated in the production of adeno associated virus (AAV) is an important step as they may pose a serious health risk, as well as deteriorate the economics of the production process. The most critical subsets of these impurities include: host cell nucleic acids, host cell proteins, chromatin, capsid aggregates, capsid DNA complexes and empty capsids.
This poster introduces two new column s for performing separation of empty (E) and full (F) capsids using multimodal approach. A PATfix ® HPLC system with three different detectors, i. e. absorbance, fluorescence, and light scattering in combination with three analytical columns traded as CIMac ™ AAV Empty/Full, CIMac PrimaS ™ (AAV) - Beta, and CIMac ™ PrimaT - Beta by BIA Separations Sartorius. The separation columns were used to determine and evaluate empty AAV capsids as one of the critical impurities in AAV samples. The analytical results using CIMac PrimaS™ (AAV)-Beta and CIMac™ Prima T- Beta show that other fast and reliable orthogonal HPLC methods to the CIMac™ AAV full/empty column can also be used for the separation of empty and full capsids with monolithic columns.

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2021

Adenovirus has after two decades gained new consideration and is now used as a COVID-19 vaccine delivery vehicle. To reduce side effects of the vaccine it’s purity is of utmost importance. Constant enhancement of the vaccine purity and improvement of the impurity detection methods is therefore necessitated. In this work we present second generation adenoviral vectors purification procedure based on monolith chromatography using CIMmultus QA to secure safer product, as well the accompanying analytical tools. The novel industrial process secures better purity at higher yields. The robustness of the process was verified using different upstream materials. Manufacturing of the vaccines in large quantities due to pandemic represent great challenges, mainly in terms of production time and costs. Higher capacity of the CIMmultus QA columns used in this process overcomes the raw material supply bottlenecks.

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The IVT reaction is one of the most expensive steps in mRNA production process and its optimization to reach high mRNA yield is of key importance Standard mRNA quantification techniques like absorbance and fluorescence based assays are time consuming and cannot be performed at line as the IVT reaction progresses In addition, other reaction components like nucleotides and pDNA interfere in the analytical results and reduce the method’s accuracy A new approach shown here uses CIMac PrimaS™ analytical HPLC column to separate and quantify several key IVT components with a very short run time, enabling fast “at line” tracking

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Density gradient ultracentrifugation (DGUC) is a well established tool for Empty/ Full AAV capsid separation based on density differences between AVV sub-populations. However DGUC practice is laborious and lacks any detection options, therefore fractions must be collected manually and analyzed later. Both of these shortcomings can be addressed by coupling post DGUC workflow to PATfix analytical HPLC. BIA Separations PATfix platform
provides sufficient tools for liquid extraction and fractionation as well as a comprehensive detector suite for precise fraction characterization. Baseline separation of capsid species was achieved in a density gradient of CsCl, producing a centrifugram that reveals information traditional DGUC and anion exchange chromatography cannot.

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Removal of empty capsids is a particular goal of AAV purification. Multimodal PrimaT ligand offers new options for removal of empty and also
damaged capsids. Besides it also contributes to better clearance of contaminating DNA. PrimaT works for different AAV serotypes - for example AAV 2/8 and AAV 2/9. AAV 2/8 or AAV 2/9 clarified harvest from Sf 9 cells was first processed by tangential flow filtration (TFF) coupled with Kryptonase treatment to reduce host cell DNA. Initial AAV capture step was performed on CIMmultus SO3 cation exchange column. After elution with sodium chloride gradient AAV fraction was cleared of DNA and protein contaminants. Separation of empty and full AAV capsids was performed by multimodal metal affinity chromatography with CIMac and CIMmultus PrimaT.

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Optimizing processing steps in sc pDNA isolation is critical for obtaining good process yields as well as high product purity. HPLC with convective chromatography media (e.g. monolith) offers a rapid analytical method to characterize complex biomolecular mixtures and gives immediate feedback during process development. E coli lysis represents such a challenging step, where multiple critical quality attributes need to be identified and critical processing parameters optimized. This approach leads to better yields and product purity, allowing for simplified downstream steps. A new PATfix analytical HPLC platform presented here uses CIMac pDNA column, to separate and characterize plasmid from impurities, allowing for easy optimization of key parameters such as RNA removal.

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AAV9 clarified harvest from Sf9 cells was concentrated and purified using combination of tangential flow filtration, nuclease treatment and cation exchange capture. First part was TFF coupled with Kryptonase treatment. Capture step was performed on CIMmultus SO3 cation exchange column. AAV elution fraction was cleared of DNA and protein contaminants and prepared for final polishing – empty capsid removal. PrimaT separation mechanism is based on ligand multimodality, one of them being metal-chelating ability. This was sucessfully exploited for AAV capsid separation.

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2020

HPLC with convective chromatography media (e.g.monolith) offers a rapid analytical method to characterise complex mixtures. Transcription reaction used for production of mRNA represents such a mixture, with components varying in size, chemical and physical properties. A new analytical HPLC approach (PATfix) presented here uses CIMacPrimaS to separate IVT components such as triphosphate-nucleotides (NTPs), enzymes, DNA template and RNA in a very short gradient.

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Separation of empty and full AAV capsids is important analytically as a means of monitoring the effects of different transfection strategies, cell culture conditions, lysis methods, sample preparation and purification methods. It is at least as important on a prepartive level because it offers the possibility of removing empty capsids without ultracentrifugation. This poster introduces a new column for performing separation of empty and full capsids.

CIMac PrimaS™ (AAV) beta employs a new ion exchange-hydrogen bonding multimodal ligand that provides a new orthogonal option for separation of empty and full capsids. Gross selectivity is similar to strong (QA) anion exchangers eluted with salt gradients, but it generally provides better resolution. Its distinct separation mechanism is documented by the fact that it provides its best results when eluted with increasing pH gradients. This is directly opposite to QA exchangers where increasing pH causes capsids to bind more strongly.

CIMac PrimaS™ (AAV) beta can also be eluted with salt gradients and often provides better resolution than QA, but its best resolution is obtained with pH gradients. Separation of a free capsid protein (CP) occurs only with the pH elution format. CIMac PrimaS™ (AAV) beta can be used instead of classical anion exchange, for example following capture by cation exchange chromatography or affinity. Its distinct separation mechanism also makes it possible to perform orthogonal separations in which it is combined with QA. 

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Bioreactor cell supernatants or post lysis materials entering downstream purification are heterogeneous mixtures of empty, full, and misassembled AAV capsids mixed with host cell proteins, genomic DNA, chromatin complexes, and other contaminants. Monolith- based HPLC columns provide high resolution among these species but overlap of elution position among capsids and contaminants makes it impossible to estimate the relative content of full and empty capsids by UV absorbance. Simultaneous monitoring with multiple detectors however enables quantitative insights that extend far beyond the limitations of UV absorbance.


This poster demonstrates how the combination of fast high resolution separations with monoliths can be combined with multiple monitors to obtain much deeper characterization than traditional assays. Anion exchange fractionation of filtered lysate and cation exchange- purified AAV 8 was monitored by UV absorbance at 260 nm and 280 nm, simultaneously with tryptophan fluorescence to differentially detect proteins without interference by nucleic acids, and with Multi Angle Light Scattering (MALS) to detect capsids.

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2019

Fast, accurate, and meaningful characterization of cell culture harvests and in process samples is critical for both process development and for documentation of in process control. UV analysis of chromatography profiles has been a valuable tool for decades, but it has major limitations with respect to sensitivity and its ability to discriminate the product of interest from particular contaminant classes.
In this study we use filtered lysate containing AAV 8 to demonstrate the ability of a strong cation exchange monolith (CIMac ™ SO3-0.1) coupled with multiple monitors to enable high sensitivity detection of AAV capsids while characterizing the relative distributions of DNA and protein contaminants. This approach can be used to evaluate cell culture methods, influence of harvest time, lysis methods, and effectivity of purification methods across a process.

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AAV vector lots are generally a heterogeneous mixture of empty particles (i e do not contain DNA) and full particles (i.e. contain DNA). Different spectrometric based methods can be used to establish the ratio between full and empty AAV particles, but accurate evaluation of empty/full ratio is often obstructed due to complex spectroscopic behavior of empty and full AAV particles, such as poor separation and impurity overlapping. An approach that takes difference in physical chemical properties between empty and full capsids into account overcomes limitations of spectrometric based evaluation of empty and full AAV particle ratio.

Chromatographic separation of empty and full AAV 2 8 capsids was achieved on the CIMac AAV full/empty analytical column (strong anion exchanger, QA quaternary amine chemistry) with the PATfix TM HPLC system using a linear NaCl gradient at pH 9.0 Signal response from three different detectors connected in series was analyzed fluorescence (excitation 280 nm emission 348 nm), light scattering 90 angle, LS) and UV absorbance 260 nm and 280 nm).

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