Agilent takes BIA technology from process suite to lab
technology and intends to use it in the commercialisation of
analytical high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)
BIA's bio-monolithic technology is a chromatographic and bioconversion support which the company claims offers superior separation power and efficiency to other column chromatography methods. Agilent intends to utilise this to improve analytical separation of virus particles, plasmid DNA, antibodies and other macro bio-molecules. Helen Stimson, vice president and general manager of Agilent's global columns and supplies solutions, said: "This technology, when applied at the analytical scale, will improve bio-drug characterization in development and allow QA/QC and process control labs to better monitor and characterize the production of biologics." BIA has aimed the technology at the preparative and process scale bio-chromatography markets but it is equally applicable to the analytical sector, hence Agilent's interest. Agilent has said that analytical chromatography is not a completely untapped market but believes it can provide researchers with higher resolution and faster chromatographic separations of macro bio-molecules. This confidence is based upon faith in the effectiveness of the technology it has acquired from BIA. The chromatography technology consists of a highly cross-linked porous monolithic polymer, which is essentially one piece of material with channels running through it. These channels are relatively large, 1200nm to 1500nm, which make the tool especially effective in quickly separating large molecules as it can be operated at high flow rates. Flow rate is further improved as the technology does not use diffusion, pores and has no stagnant zones. The components which are to be separated out are transported by bulk flow to active groups located on the channels surface, extracting them from the mixture. BIA claims its technology also reduces back pressure, improves the ease of use and versatility of the system and offers flow unaffected resolution. Agilent is expecting these traits to make the system popular with the analytical sector, enabling it to carve out a niche in the market.