Purolite Life Sciences announced this week it has selected Briggs of Burton as a partner in creating the manufacturing process design at its new facility in Llantrisant, UK, expected to begin making Protein A media for the biomanufacturing industry next year.
“The facility build is moving along well,” sales director Chris Major told this publication. “The capex and fabrication contracts for the equipment have now been awarded to suppliers and we remain on track for an opening mid-2017.”
Protein A is regarded as being the gold standard in capturing monoclonal antibodies and is manufactured in a similar way to an actual biological product, thus costing as much as $12,000 per litre.
But this new facility - first announced in March – will make Purolite’s Praesto resin and could bring down the overall price of Protein A media for end-users.
“We have streamlined manufacturing which has allowed us to pass savings back to customers, helping them to lower their development costs,” he told us, adding the firm has also had 35 years’ experience in making resins across a number of industries and can implement best practises to lower costs further and drive innovation in the sector.
“Soon we will be implementing Purolite’s patented uniform particle manufacturing technology, which will further enhance product performance for the end user.”
Taking on GE Healthcare
According to Major, the new plant will grow Purolite’s share of the agarose Protein A market to 30% and compete directly with GE Healthcare which he said currently holds a near monopoly.
But due to regulatory reasons, he admitted it is unlikely GE’s current customers will switch to Purolite for their supply. “However, the pipeline for new drugs far exceeds the numbers of those currently manufactured, with expectations that the market will double in 5 -10 years.”
“Our philosophy is that competition is the mother of innovation, so now end users will benefit significantly. Purolite is 100% focused on improving resin technology, and our customers enjoy the highest level of customer dedication from the best minds in the industry to solve their most challenging problems.”
GE has previously told this publication it welcomes competition in the Protein A space while disputing Purolite’s claim that it holds a near monopoly in the sector.
“There are many suppliers on the market and we welcome competition because it drives innovation in both product design and in the total service offering for customers,” Jonathan Royce, product manager of antibody affinity media at GE, told us in March.
“Some of the other suppliers on the market have been supplying Protein A resin for nearly as long as GE Healthcare, and some have entered the market recently.”