Continuous Purification: MCSGP and CaptureSMB

Continuous purification: MCSGP and CaptureSMB—
industry disruptive technologies

Continuous production of peptides, oligos, and large biomolecules is a growing trend finding favor with regulatory bodies for the ability of continuous manufacturing to make drugs of a higher and more consistent quality at a lower cost and thus more readily accessible. Continuous purification with chromatography is widely defined as a process that moves beyond the present batch time to runs that extend into days, weeks, or months. YMC is a pioneer in the technology that semi or continuously uses chromatographic processes to purify drug products.

YMC has supplied twin-column LPLC and HPLC “Contichrom” systems for major pharmaceutical and bio-pharmaceutical GMP suites in Europe, the USA, and Asia. These systems range from a few liters per minute to over 40 LPM purifying tonnes of advanced therapeutics. YMC is recognized as the industry leader in continuous and semi-continuous chromatography-based purification technology.

YMC has patented the industry-leading continuous purification approaches of CaptureSMB for biologics and MCSGP for peptides and oligonucleotides. Read more about these disruptive technologies below.

Continuous CaptureSMB processes—biologics

During the production of monoclonal antibodies, the Protein A capture step is the first important purification step. A fast capture step is critical to retaining product integrity and processing of large feed volumes in reasonable times. Novel periodic counter-current (PCC) processes are superior to batch processes, offering a significant economic benefit. 

YMC/ChromaCon’s optimized two-column periodic countercurrent chromatography process (CaptureSMB) is the least complex and most effective process, allowing two to threefold faster processing. It saves up to 60% of expensive Protein A resin and buffer. Lab (Contichrom CUBE instrument) and GMP scale production systems (Contichrom TWIN LPLC) employing CaptureSMB are commercially available.

CaptureSMB resources

The CaptureSMB Process Principle

Maximizing the efficiency of affinity capture steps

View: Presentation

CaptureSMB for the continuous purification of mAbs with high productivity and load

CaptureSMB is a twin-column periodic countercurrent (PCC) process used for the continuous purification of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) and antibody fragments using affinity resins such as Protein A and Protein L.

Read: White Paper

Capture SMB; Twin-column chromatography—how it works, economics, and applications

This 25-minute presentation (plus 15-minute Q&A) walks through how a twin-column chromatography system works, both at the bench and production scale.

Watch: Webinar

Continuous purification of peptides and oligos with MCSGP

In batch chromatography of peptides and oligos, impure side fractions often have to be discarded to reach a certain product purity. With YMC’s patented MCSGP approach, impure product-containing side fractions are internally (automatically) recycled in a periodic closed-loop process while pure product is continuously extracted. Thereby, little product is lost, and the yield of pure product is maximized without any accumulation of impurities while retaining target purity.

High yield at target purity

MCSGP economic benefits

Multicolumn Countercurrent Solvent Gradient Purification process (MCSGP) is a continuous process operated by Contichrom lab-scale (Contichrom CUBE) and Contichrom TWIN pilot/process scale equipment. It provides significant economic benefits compared to single-column batch chromatography operated at low, medium, and high pressure. The economic benefits are derived by the achievement of significantly higher yield at target purity, lower buffer/solvent consumption, and higher productivity. Economic benefits are always obtained, not depending on products or applications, yet the more complex the separation task, the higher the benefits obtained through the MCSGP process.

Figure: Yield-purity-productivity relationship of MCSGP versus conventional batch chromatography. Single-column batch processes (blue) operate on a low productivity level without the potential for productivity gains when high yield and purity are required. MCSGP (red) operates at an optimum in 3D space, with high yield and purity at increased productivity.

Application of MCSGP for peptide and oligo purification

High performance liquid chromatography employing MCSGP provides a novel purification technology for peptides or oligos produced by chemical synthesis. MCSGP offers a step-change in efficiency compared to batch HPLC processing. With MCSGP, two identical reverse-phase columns are operated under high pressures in countercurrent mode with internal recycling of impurity-containing side fractions, extracting continuously pure product and discarding impurities without significant product loss. Peptides can be purified at preparative/production scale with a significantly higher yield without compromising target purity. The process allows an up to tenfold higher productivity with potentially 75% lower solvent consumption, providing an overall attractive economical production scenario and allowing to push the boundary of economic synthesis of long peptides.

Application of MCSGP for omega-3 EPA purification

MCSGP can purify complex biological mixtures, such as omega-3 eicosapentaenoic acid ethyl ester (EPA-EE) to a high target purity in a single purification step. Generic fish oil feed with a feed purity of 74% EPA-EE was subjected to an MCSGP process design to achieve a target purity of >97% EPA-EE. MCSGP was operated under high pressures in countercurrent mode with internal recycling of impurity-containing side fractions with docosahexaenoic acid ethyl ester (DHA-EE) as the main impurity, extracting continuously pure EPA-EE and discarding impurities without significant product loss. Five cycles of MCSGP achieved significantly improved yield at target purity (+ 250%), productivity throughput (+ 590%), and reduced solvent consumption by 75% compared to batch HPLC.

MCSGP process principle and design

The MCSGP process is the only known ternary continuous separation process that can unlock the yield-purity trade-off dilemma by providing high yield at target purity, thereby enhancing productivity.

The process eliminates the need for re-chromatography and the associated time and resources for sampling and testing. The MCSGP technology is patented by ChromaCon, and its process principle is intuitive, straightforward, and allows a high degree of automation. This is visualized in an animation of the two-column MCSGP design. A dedicated software wizard in the accompanying ChromIQ software allows for easy batch-to-continuous process design, transfer, and optimization.

YMC / ChromaCon offers customized services and expertise to companies and academics who wish to quickly advance their projects or test MCSGP capabilities before investing in a system.

MCSGP is used for:

  • Synthetic peptides
  • Oligonucleotides
  • Small molecules from fermentation or natural extractions (Stevia, flavonoids, cannabinoids, fish oil)
  • Blood plasma products
  • Recombinant proteins from microbial production
  • Complex organic synthesis products

MCSGP resources

The MCSGP process principle

Maximizing yield and purity in chromatographic polish steps with Multicolumn Countercurrent Solvent Gradient Purification

View: Presentation

FAQs for YMC’s MCSGP technology

Read: FAQ's

Continuous purification of therapeutics—removing critical barriers in manufacturing by MCSGP

The challenges in the purification of oligonucleotides (including RNA/DNA) and peptides of time, cost, yield, and purity can be overcome with a technique called MCSGP.

Watch: Webinar

More Resources Related to This Topic

Application Information

Technology and Economics for the Purification of Oligonucleotides (and Peptides) by Twin-Column Continuous Chromatography

Process Intensification for the Purification of Peptidomimetics: The Case of Icatibant through Multi-column Countercurrent Solvent Gradient Purification (MCSGP)

Comparison of Multicolumn Capture Processes

Process Control and Optimization by AutomAb

Dynamic Process Control (MControl®) for Countercurrent Polish Processes (MCSGP)

Application Search

Use our extensive Applications Search page to mine a dynamically growing collection of over 350 YMC-produced application notes.

The data can be searched by any combination of several variables, including sample classification, compound name (including partial names), and column parameters.

Contact YMC America

For more information on products and services from YMC, YMC ChromaCon, or just to say hello, get in touch with us by clicking on the button below.