Repligen launched the latest addition to its Opus range of pre-packed disposable chromatography columns at the Bioprocess International Summit in Dusseldorf, Germany, this week, and Associate Director of Marketing, Fletcher Malcolm, explained why buying such columns pre-filled with resin would appeal to GMP manufacturers.
“For the end-users, their goal is to ensure a purity of their product," he told Biopharma-Reporter.com. "Column packing is not a direct value addition to what they are focused on and therefore we are making their lives a lot easier.”
The platform can be pre-filled with any available resin and has an internal diameter of 60cm, making it the largest pre-packed disposable column in the industry and the only one made for use with bioreactor harvests of over 2,000L.
But as standard single-use bioreactors are currently between 1,000-2,000L, for now Malcolm said adoption of the 60 cm columns will likely be moderate compared to the uptake of the OPUS 10 – 45 cm columns.
Despite this, as facilities continue to shift to use disposable equipment and new fermentation methods will increase titres and produce higher yields, “industry is going to need larger chromatography platforms in the future,” he said.
The company claims the Opus 60 column has achieved a 19% saving in costs and 50% saving in labour in tests comparing it with traditional self-packed columns.
Repligen’s disposable columns typically cost about around $1,000 per centimetre of diameter without resin, Malcolm said, but the 60cm system has a price tag of around $90,000 .
Therefore we questioned the ‘disposable’ nature of the new offering, and with the system prefilled with resin – which could be up to $1m if using Protein A resin – Malcolm admitted it is “a significant investment” and firms would be unlikely to dispose of it.