GE gains access to SSB's membrane tech in downstream supply deal

By Dan Stanton

- Last updated on GMT

A Sartobind membrane adsorber (photo c/o SSB)
A Sartobind membrane adsorber (photo c/o SSB)

Related tags Biotechnology

GE Healthcare has extended its purification product portfolio through a supply deal with Sartorius for its membrane adsorber ion-exchange technology.

Sartorius Stedim Biotech (SSB) will continue to make and market its Sartobind purification technology, but under the terms of the deal the platform will now also be available to GE’s customers through its ‘ReadyToProcess’ brand.

The technology uses adsorbers that carry ligands on a membrane surface instead of more traditional particulate resins, in order to remove contaminants such as endotoxins and viruses during the downstream stages of biomanufacturing,.

“In contrast to the particulate bead matrix, adsorbers supply almost hundred times larger pore size  ->3 µm - and so can be run without backpressure and at extraordinary high speed,”​ Sartorius spokesman Dominic Grone told

 “The membrane can be loaded with 50 times more monoclonal antibody feed than conventional resins,”​ he added, which saves time when removing impurities in the production of modern recombinant proteins.

The products, which come as ready-to-use capsules, feed the demand for faster and more flexible downstream technologies, a demand which is growing as end users increasingly look to modular and multiproduct facilities.

“Minimising switching time between campaigns is important in order to optimise plant utilisation,” ​Grone continued. “Membrane chromatography is typical in such situations as it is a good match for these single-use flexible facilities.”

Competitive Partnership

While financial terms have not been disclosed, GE spoke to us about its decision to partner with a rival company for access to this platform.

“GE is always looking to partner with innovators to bring new technology, processes and innovation to the industry,”​ the firm’s BioProcess Downstream Product Leader Catarina Flyborg said.

“[The] membrane adsorber technology is another tool that we advise manufacturers to use when suitable. The difference is that now, users can source them directly from GE, which can simplify the procurement process for some.”

But according to Grone, the collaboration between these two bioprocessing tech heavyweights only extends to the adsorber product range:

“In future, both companies will continue to actively compete, in order to provide the biopharmaceutical industry with the best and most appropriate products.”

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