Protein A affinity chromatography is a key step in isolation of biotherapeutics (BTs) containing fragment crystallizable regions, including monoclonal and bispecific antibodies. Dynamic binding capacity (DBC) analysis assesses how much BT will bind to a protein A column. DBC reduces with column usage, effectively reducing the amount of recovered product over time. Drug regulatory bodies mandate chromatography resin lifetime for BT isolation, through measurement of parameters including DBC, so this feature is carefully monitored in industrial purification pipelines. High-performance affinity chromatography (HPAC) is typically used to assess the concentration of BT, which when loaded to the column results in significant breakthrough of BT in the flowthrough. HPAC gives an accurate assessment of DBC and how this changes over time but only reports on protein concentration, requires calibration for each new BT analyzed, and can only be used offline. Here we utilized Raman spectroscopy and revealed that this approach is at least as effective as both HPAC and ultraviolet chromatogram methods at monitoring DBC of protein A resins. In addition to reporting on protein concentration, the chemical information in the Raman spectra provides information on aggregation status and protein structure, providing extra quality controls to industrial bioprocessing pipelines. In combination with partial least square (PLS) analysis, Raman spectroscopy can be used to determine the DBC of a BT without prior calibration. Here we performed Raman analysis offline in a 96-well plate format, however, it is feasible to perform this inline. This study demonstrates the power of Raman spectroscopy as a significantly improved approach to DBC monitoring in industrial pipelines.
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