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2012

Objective – Influenza VLP
• Complex structure
• Different protein components
• Host cell derived lipid membrane
• ESAT6 epitope of M. tuberculosis engineered into influenza hemagglutinin [1,2]
• Optimal vaccine candidates
• Induce strong immune response [3]
• Contain no genetic information

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2011

Over the last two decades,the potential of virus-based biopharmaceuticals for application in gene therapy and vaccination brought new challenges in bioprocess development. Particularly, the downstream processing (DSP) of enveloped viruses shifted from bench-scale towards robust, scalable and cost-effective strategies to produce clinical grade viralvectors. Lenti viralvectors(LVs) hold great potential in gene therapy due to their ability to transduce non dividing cells and their capacity to sustain long-term transgene expression in several target cells, invitro and invivo1. However, despite significant progress, the quality of LV preparations, the purification and the concentration of high titers of these vectors is still cumbersome and costly. In this work, disposable membrane technologies, involving microfiltration, anion-exchange chromatography (AEXc) and a final ultrafiltration step, were the basis for the development of an optimized purification process for LV.

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2010

Over the last years, lentiviral vectors have emerged as valuable tools for transgene delivery because of their ability to transduce non-dividing cells and their capacity to sustain long-term transgene expression in target cells in vitro and in vivo. However, despite significant progress, the purification and concentration of high titer and high quality vector stocks is still time-consuming and scale-limited. We aimed to develop a simple and cost-effective capture purification step capable of separating the produced lentiviral vectors from the preparation originally containing a load of recombinant baculoviruses used to transiently transfect 293T producer cells. Even though recombinant baculoviruses do not present major safety concerns1, the final product (purified lentiviral vectors) should be pure enough to be tested in (pre-)clinical studies2. A capture step has been preliminarily evaluated. Both lentiviruses and baculoviruses are enveloped, thus per se prone to degradation through processing. Furthermore, both show overall surface negative charges at physiological pH3,4. As such, our rationale was to use an anion-exchange bind-elute step with enough resolution to separate the two viruses upon elution. It was likely that the difference in the overall electrostatic charges of the two viruses can be used to our advantage if a sufficiently extended salt elution gradient is used.

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Biomanufacturing of antibodies, therapeutic proteins and vaccines or gene delivery vectors (either DNA or virus based) is a very complicated process where many things can go wrong. This is even more pronounced as the target biomolecules are extremely susceptible to the environmental conditions both during cultivation (upstream processing) as well as during isolation and purification (downstream processing). One can always doubt whether we have enough information about our complex biomolecule samples to consistently develop a safe product by running a robust and efficient purification bioprocess.

By using and understanding novel technologies one can design new process analytic technology (PAT) initiatives to overcome some of these problems. Here, we present novel monolithic analytical columns — CIMac columns — that can bridge this gap. In the first example, CIMac columns were applied for monitoring the purification process of virus like particles (VLP) which are used for production of vaccines and as delivery systems in gene therapy. In the second example, the monolithic analytical columns were also applied for monitoring the fermentation process of bacteriophages.

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Avir Green Hills Biotechnology is developing innovative seasonal and pandemic influenza vaccines based on the deletion of the NS1 gene (del NS1 vaccine).The vaccine is replication-defective and applied intranasally. Recently,clinical phase I studies for H1N1 monovalent vaccine and H5N1 avian influenza vaccine were completed. Both were confirmed to be safe and immunogenic for humans. A production and purification process, which was successfully employed for the pilot-scale production of H1N1 and H5N1 influenza A vaccine virus, will be presented and compared to standard ultracentrifugation method. Details on obtained life virus yields as well as impurity removal will be given. The vaccine virus is produced in static cell culture using Vero (African Green monkey kidney) cells. After clarification the vaccine virus bulk is purified using the same(chromatography-based) scheme for all different subtypes: Concentration by tangential ultrafiltration, AEX chromatography using a CIM QA monolith, and an SEC polishing step allowing for buffer exchange. This purification scheme guarantees the thorough depletion of host cell DNA and total protein. For the ultracentrifugation approach chromatographic steps were replaced by a gradient ultracentrifugation step, comparison data are shown. In addition, an HPLC method for quantifying influenza virus in the vaccine with the use of CIM monolithic columns will be presented and the results will be compared with haemagglutination method.

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Rabies virus cause acute encephalitis. It is widely distributed around the globe and more than 55,000 people perish yearly and an additional 10 million post-exposure treatment are reported. About 95% of human deaths occur in Asia and Africa. In countries that are endemic to rabies an immense need for cost-effective large-scale production of the Rabies vaccine occurs. Achieving required quality is challenging because majority of rabies vaccines are produced in Vero cells. This makes Rabies vaccine difficult to manufacture due to low titre of vaccine with lots of residual cellular DNA and serum proteins.

The objective of this work was to improve purity of rabies vaccine regarding residual DNA presence. Different mobile phases with different pH values were explored. Moreover, to develop cost-efficient downstream process for Rabies vaccine, monolith-based purification step was performed in different stages of downstream processing. Chromatographical fractions were analyzed for efficiency of DNA removal. In addition, recovery of Rabies vaccine was monitored. Finally, knowing the optimal conditions, a step-wise gradient was used for purification of larger amount of Rabies vaccine.

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2009

Adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors continue to hold immense promise as gene transfer vehicles for a variety of gene therapy applications. Numerous pre-clinical and human clinical studies have been undertaken with rAAV, employing several of the identified serotypes to leverage their differing tissue tropism to correct a broad spectrum of genetic diseases. Despite the advantageous characteristics of rAAV and the extensive research into pre-clinical applications, production and purification scale-up continues to limit recombinant AAV (rAAV) use in large clinical trials that require even moderate vector doses. Therefore, AGTC has developed a high-yielding, scalable rAAV production system in suspension BHK cells that employs co-infection with two hybrid rHSV-rAAV vectors to provide all cis and trans-acting rAAV elements and the requisite helper virus functions for rAAV manufacturing.

In contrast to traditional, resin-based chromatography methods for rAAV purification, we have developed a two-step chromatographic process that employs a novel anion exchange Convective Interaction Media® monolithic column (CIM® monolith, BIA Separations) capture step followed by affinity chromatography (AVB Sepharose™, GE Healthcare), which yields rAAV vector stocks in very high purity. This scalable process allows significant reduction in processing time due to the high capture step dynamic binding capacity, flow rates and resolution. The resulting overall chromatography recovery compares favorably to our first and second generation processes which used three-step, resin-based column chromatography and membrane-based two step chromatography, respectively.

The CIM QA-AVB process was scaled to accommodate 10 L suspension production runs and was successful at recovering as much as 1 × 1015 purified AAV1 DRP in a single day. The process is highly reproducible and it is applicable for the purification of multiple AAV serotypes with over 95% purity and overall yield of > 30%.

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Avir Green Hills Biotechnology is developing innovative seasonal and pandemic influenza vaccines based on the deletion of the NS1 gene (delNS1 vaccine). The vaccine is replication-defective and applied intranasally. Currently, an H1N1 monovalent vaccine is being tested in a clinical phase I study, with an H5N1 avian influenza vaccine soon to be initiated. A production and purification process, which was successfully employed for the pilot-scale production of H1N1 and H5N1 influenza A vaccine virus, will be presented. Data on the selection of chromatographic media, relevant to eliminate downstream purification bottlenecks will also be discussed.

Details on obtained virus yields as well as impurity removal will be given. The vaccine virus is produced in static cell culture using Vero (African Green monkey kidney) cells. After clarification the vaccine virus bulk is purified using the same scheme for all different subtypes: Concentration by tangential ultra filtration, AEX chromatography using a CIM QA monolith, and an SEC polishing step allowing for buffer exchange. This purification scheme guarantees the thorough depletion of host cell DNA and total protein. In addition, an HPLC method for quantifying influenza virus in the vaccine with the use of CIM monolithic columns will be presented and the results will be compared with haemagglutination method.

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In an average influenza season, we face hundreds of thousands of influenza cases. Up to 50,000 deaths per year can be ascribed to influenza epidemics. Nevertheless, this is relatively harmless compared to the current, permanent threat of a worldwide pandemic caused by avian influenza.

AVIR Green Hills Biotechnology is developing innovative seasonal and pandemic influenza vaccines based on the deletion of the NS1 gene (ΔNS1 vaccine) [1]. The vaccine is replication-defective and applied intranasally. Currently, an H1N1 monovalent vaccine is being tested in a clinical phase I study and clinical trials with H5N1 avian influenza vaccine will follow in fall 2007.

A production process, which was successfully employed for the pilot-scale production of H1N1 and H5N1 influenza A virus is presented here. The upstream process is performed according to the specific requirements of the respective influenza subtypes. Currently, 15 L batches are produced in cell factories using Vero (African green monkey kidney) cells. The vaccine bulk is purified by using the very same scheme for all different subtypes. For purification, the cell culture supernatant is clarified by centrifugation and the virus is concentrated by tangential ultra filtration. The concentrated virus is subsequently purified in two chromatographic steps which were co-developed with BIA Separations d.o.o.: First, an anion exchange monolithic column is used. This is followed by size exclusion chromatography for polishing and buffer exchange.

This purification scheme guarantees the thorough depletion of host cell DNA and total protein, and recovers at least 25% of the infectious virus.

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2008

During last decades different methods for purification of influenza viruses have been described. Most of these methods were developed for purification of egg derived influenza virus which is still the main production system for influenza vaccine viruses. Since cell culture based technology is gaining more and more importance, the need for alternative, efficient and scaleable purification methods has risen. Chromatography is becoming a method of choice for purification of viruses. Relevance of this technique was recently demonstrated also for influenza viruses. Methacrylate monoliths are characterized by large channel diameter, high surface accessibility and convective mass transport. As a consequence they have high binding capacity for large molecules, enable high flow rates at low pressure drop and therefore increase productivity. Recently it has been proven that methacrylate monolithic columns can also be used for purification and concentration of different viruses.

It was the purpose of this work to explore possibilities for purification of influenza viruses on ion exchange methacrylate monoliths. Different subtypes of influenza A and influenza B virus were tested employing various ion exhange monolithic columns.

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During the last decade important developments in molecular medicine and adenoviral vector design have been achieved, leading to an increased use of adenoviral vectors in clinical gene therapy protocols. One of the main advantages of the adenovirus is their ability to replicate at high titres in permisive cell lines. The availability of large quantities of adenoviral vector preparations is recognized as an important limitation to pre-clinical and clinical studies. Consequently there is a global focus on large scale production of adenoviral vectors, providing high titres combined with fast, effective and reliable purification methods.

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2005

Viruses have proven to be useful vectors for gene therapy purposes. As therapeutics for human use they must be pure and contaminant free. Traditionally, viruses are purified by complicated and time consuming methods such as CsCl density gradient centrifugation or similar. In recent years liquid chromatography has became interesting method for virus purification. It provides high level of purity required for human use and increases productivity. Traditional chromatographic supports were mostly designed for purification of proteins and as such are commonly inappropriate for viruses. Alternative to traditional chromatographic support are methacrylate monoliths (CIM monoliths), characterized by large channel diameter, high surface accessibility and convective mass transport.

The aim of this work was to characterize CIM supports for separation and possible purification of a model virus Tomato mosaic virus (ToMV) from crude plant material.

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2004

Traditionally, viruses are purified by time consuming methods such as CsCl density gradient centrifugation or similar. These methods are often inefficient and limited to small scale. In recent years different methods for virus purification, based on ion exchange, gel filtration and affinity chromatography have became popular. Recently, CIM® disk monolithic columns were used for successful concentration of two plant viruses (1) and for improved detection of two human viruses (2). Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) and Tomato mosaic virus (ToMV) were concentrated and subsequently detected from extremely diluted samples in which they were initially undetectable. Successful concentrations of both viruses encourage us to explore the possibilities of CIM® supports for virus purification. As a model virus ToMV was selected. ToMV is a rod shaped plant virus with a typical size of 300 x 18 nm and isoelectric point at pH 4.6.

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The availability of sufficient quantities of quality DNA is always a crucial point in DNA based methods, i.e. for PCR, DNA sequencing, Southern blotting, and microarrays [1]. The same is true for the PCR-based methods for detection of genetically modified food [2]. During the production chain foods passes several physical, biological, and chemical processes, which all negatively influences on the quantity of available DNA. The phenomenon is especially expressive when high temperature treatment is performed at low pH [3]. The existing methods for DNA isolation from food cannot always fulfill the expectations of quantity and quality of isolated DNA. Furthermore they usually include 100 mg of sample and are difficult to scale-up [4]. Four major chromatographic modes are used for the separation of DNA: size-exclusion, anion-exchange, ion-pair reversephased, and slalom chromatography. Of these, anion-exchange chromatography combined with micropellicular packing is described as the most prominent technique so far [1].
Anion-exchange CIM® (Convective Interaction Media) monolithic columns allow fast and flow unaffected separation of several biomolecules, including nucleic acids [5].

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2003

Traces of DNA in RNA samples represent impurities that could affect results of mRNA quantification and cDNA synthesis. In most cases, the DNA impurities in RNA samples are removed using enzyme deoxyribonuclease (DNase), which specifically breaks down DNA. In order to avoid the addition of DNase into the analyzing sample, the use of immobilized DNase on solid support is recommended. Because of the DNA size, very few supports available on the market enable efficient interaction between immobilized enzyme and DNA.

In recent years a new group of supports named monoliths was introduced. Because of enhanced exchange between mobile and stationary phase separation and bioconversion processes are significantly accelerated. Therefore also the efficiency of DNA removal using immobilised enzyme might be competitive to the degradation with free enzyme.

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The availability of sufficient quantities of quality DNA is always a crucial point in DNA based methods, i.e. for PCR, DNA sequencing, Southern blotting, and microarrays [1]. The same is true for the PCR-based methods for detection of genetically modified food [2]. During the production chain foods passes several physical, biological, and chemical processes, which all negatively influences on the quantity of available DNA. The phenomenon is especially expressive when high temperature treatment is performed at low pH [3].

The existing methods for DNA isolation from food cannot always fulfill the expectations of quantity and quality of isolated DNA. Furthermore they usually include 100 mg of sample and are difficult to scale-up [4]. Four major chromatographic modes are used for the separation of DNA: size-exclusion, anion-exchange, ion-pair reversephased, and slalom chromatography. Of these, anion-exchange chromatography combined with micropellicular packing is described as the most prominent technique so far [1].

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The availability of sufficient quantities of quality DNA is always a crucial point in DNA-based methods, i.e. for PCR, DNA sequencing, Southern blotting, and microarrays [1]. The same is true for the PCR-based methods of GMO detection in food [2]. During the production chain foods passes several physical, biological, and chemical processes, which all negatively influences on the quantity of available DNA. The phenomenon is especially expressive when high temperature treatment is performed at low pH [3].

The existing methods, for DNA isolation from food, cannot always fulfill the expectations of quantity and quality of isolated DNA. Furthermore they usually include 100 mg of sample and are difficult to scale-up [4]. Four major chromatographic modes are used for the separation of DNA: size-exclusion, anionexchange, ion-pair reverse-phased, and slalom chromatography. Of these, anionexchange chromatography combined with micropellicular packing is described as the most prominent technique so far [1].

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2000

Strains of the anaerobic bacterial genus are thought to play an important role in fiber degradation. sp. Mz5 was previously isolated from the rumen of a black and white Friesian cow and its xylanolytic activity was proved to be at least 1,65 times higher than the activities of all of the compared well known xylan-degrading rumen bacterial species and strains (1). High xylanolytic activity was the reason for partial isolation of its xylanases in order to study their special characteristics and possible biotechnological applications later.

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1999

Synthetic oligonucleotides play an important role as novel therapeutic agents.

One of the most important, but also very time-consuming steps in synthetic oligonucleotides production is their purification. Due to their high-resolution power, reversed-phase and ion-exchange chromatography are the most widely used techniques for these purposes. For the reversed-phase separations oligonucleotides need to be kept as 5'-O-dimethoxytrityl derivatives until the purification process is completed and only then the detritylation takes place. Both these steps lower the yield of the production process. In the contrary, ion-exchange chromatography offers applications to deprotected oligonucleotides directly and that is the reason why this chromatography mode is more preferred.

Convective Interaction Media (CIM) are newly developed polymerbased monolithic supports allowing high resolution separations which can be carried out within seconds in the case of analytical units - disks. This is due to predominantly convective mass transport of biomolecules between the mobile and stationary phase and very low dead volumes. Additionally, the dynamic binding capacity is not affected by high flow rates.

In this work weak (DEAE) anion-exchange CIM supports have been successfully applied for the analysis and purification of synthetic oligonucleotides.

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CIM® supports are novel monolithic chromatographic supports. In contrast to conventional particle based chromatographic supports they consist of a single porous polymer. The pores form a highly interconnected network, which enables the flow of the mobile phase through the monolith. Molecules to be separated are transported to the surface by the convection. Since the diffusion is not a bottleneck any more, also the resolution and the dynamic capacity of the monolith are flow independent and an average analysis time is typically below one minute. Furthermore, CIM® columns were successfully applied for the purification of proteins directly from the fermentation broth.

Manganese peroxidases (MnP) and lignin peroxidases (LiP) are a family of glicosilated hemo-proteins, which are excreted into the growth medium during the idiophasic growth of the white rot fungus Phanerochaete chrysosporium. They are both involved in the lignin degradation. For their analysis and separation from the growth medium, HPLC is commonly applied. Besides the separation by Na-acetate concentration gradient (2), also the chromatofocusing can be used (3). A fast method for LiP isoenzyme separation from the growth medium of P. chrysosporium using CIM™ QA disk monolithic columns has been recently developed (1). A modified method was tested on the growth medium containing MnP isoenzymes.

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