DSM takes on purification tech
purification technology company Upfront Chromatography to boost its
protein separation business.
DSM will be looking to capitalise on Upfront's proprietary purification platform Rhobust. Rhobust focuses on two main application areas - the recovery and purification of monoclonal antibodies, therapeutic proteins and other biomolecules from blood plasma or bioreactors, and the isolation of functional proteins and other biomolecules for use as food ingredients, industrial enzymes, nutraceuticals and healthcare products. DSM said in a statement: "The downstream processing platform developed by Upfront is of great potential to contribute to all biotechnology-derived products from DSM." The recent success of DSM in biopharmaceutical production has led to what the company called a "significant urgency" to develop more efficient purification methods for monoclonal antibodies and other biopharmaceutical proteins. "Upfront is at the forefront of technological breakthroughs in downstream processing. Through our investment we want to support further developments in the company which will benefit both DSM and Upfront," DSM pharmaceutical products chief executive Leendert Staal said in a statement. The Rhobust technology relies on the Expanded Bed Adsorption Principle which allows the chromatography beads to fluidise in the feed stream which is pumped at low pressure. The expanded bed allows impurities to pass through the system freely and eliminates pre-filtration steps of packed-bed implementations. The beads used in the Rhobust technology are made from agarose polymers. In addition to the investment, DSM and Upfront have signed a collaboration agreement with the aim of further developing the Rhobust technology for the purification of monoclonal antibodies. Upfront Chromatography develops and manufactures innovative products and technologies for extraction and recovery of biotherapeutics, functional biomolecules, macromolecular complexes, and living cells, directly from bioreactors and industrial side-streams. DSM is joined in this investment round by financial investors InnovationsKapital and NBGI Ventures. A spokesman from DSM was unavailable for comment at time of publishing.