By Dr. Jonas Anders, Head of Marketing Chromatography, Merck Millipore
Continuous chromatography first originated in the 1950s in the oil industry and has since become widely accepted for small molecule pharmaceuticals. Recently, biopharmaceutical manufacturers have begun to adopt the technology for the production of larger, protein-based drugs, a trend which should intensify as the industry continues to strive for more productive, cost-effective processes.
Continuous chromatography uses simulated moving bed technology to substitute for batch processing. The continuous process significantly increases productivity, improving the amount of pure product produced by as much as 10 times. This higher yield, obtained without sacrificing purity, requires less solvent, buffer and resin and is achieved without a larger footprint. In addition, the chromatography step can be completed in less time.