DOI: 10.1002/btpr.3407 ISSN: 8756-7938

Adapting virus filtration to continuous processing: Effects of product and process variability on filtration performance

Julie Kozaili, William Rayfield, Adrian Gospodarek, Mark Brower, Daniel Strauss
  • Biotechnology


Virus filtration (VF) is an important unit operation in the manufacture of biotherapeutics that provides robust removal of potential virus contaminants. Small virus removal can be impacted by the low operating pressures and potential depressurization events that are often associated with continuous operations where increased operational flexibility for higher loading at low flux and low pressure is required. In this study, we evaluated the impact of low flux (7 LMH) and pressure interruptions on minute virus of mice (MVM) removal. We used long‐term filtrations conducted to a target throughput of 1000 L/m2 with four different monoclonal antibodies on small‐scale hollow fiber virus filters with a hydrophilic modified polyvinylidene fluoride membrane. These conditions are certainly challenging for any VF operation and ensuring robust viral clearance under such conditions is critical to the design and implementation of continuous VF. Planova BioEX filters effectively removed MVM at 4 log or greater when run continuously for up to 6 days. Interestingly, pressure increases associated with filter fouling over the duration of long‐term filtrations were shown to be reflective of load material variability and could be remediated by implementation of an inline prefilter. Pressure interruptions had minimal impact on overall MVM logarithmic reduction value. Effective virus removal was achieved with pressure increases being largely product‐specific, which demonstrates the capability of the virus filter to remove virus independent of pressure increases that are expected to occur with increased protein load.

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