The acquisition was prompted by Natrix’s chromatography membrane platform according to a MilliporeSigma spokeswoman, who told us it is ideal for biomanufacturing processes employing single-use technologies.
She said “Natrix high-definition membranes combine fast flow rates, typical of membrane absorbers, and high capacities which are comparable to resins. This allows for single-use and next-generation processes.”
“This acquisition complements our efforts to drive next-generation bioprocessing, ultimately enabling faster, more efficient technology for our customers” she said.
The spokeswoman also said that MilliporeSigma- the life science business sector of Germany's Merck – was committed to retaining the 17 people currently employed by Natrix.
Natrix makes chromatography membranes from hydrogels that can be that can be engineered to include common industry capture ligands – such as Protein A - and separation chemistries.
A Natrix spokesman told us that: “When the active separation or affinity chemistry is deployed in the Natrix membrane, the target drug or an impurity can be separated much, much more quickly than with conventional chromatography resins.
“This means the Natrix devices can be miniaturized and can be reduced to a simple, disposable format. As a result, purification can be handled by inexpensive consumable products whereas they previously required expensive, capital intensive chromatography columns.”
He also suggested the technologies will allow drug manufacturers to simplify their facilities, easily switch among different biopharmaceutical products in the same manufacturing space.
News of the acquisition less than a year after Sanofi and US drug maker Merck & Co. teamed up with Natrix to develop a chromatography system with a productivity level capable to enable a fully-integrated downstream platform.
In addition, last December Natrix struck a deal with Germany's Scil Proteins for the engineering and development of a proprietary Protein A ligand.