The technology, which is based on Upfront's Rhobust expanded bed adsorption (EBA) platform, can be attached to production bioreactors, enabling manufacturers to collect MAbs directly at that stage of the production process without the need for any additional filtration, centrifugation, cleaning and or validation procedures. Within the units themselves, the chromatography beads are able to move freely in the production feed stream. As a result, no additional pressure is generated during operation, enabling construction of cost-effective, disposable columns from plastic. Upfront believe that the combined advantages of disposability and the capacity for crude feedstock processing can deliver a single high-yielding system that eliminates the requirement for pre-clarification of the feedstock. In addition, because the units are disposable and can be discarded between production runs they dramatically reduce the potential for cross contamination to occur. In a statement Allan Lihme, Upfront's CTO, commented that: "Using EBA as a disposable adsorption platform has some compelling advantages. Three processing operations [loading, washing and elution] are combined into just one disposable unit and because these systems do not generate any back-pressure, disposable tubing can be safely used in the pumping system rather than stainless steel piping that requires validated cleaning". Earlier this month a Frost & Sullivan report predicted that the value of the global monoclonal antibody market, which was valued at $12.6bn (€8bn) in 2007, will be worth nearly $34.5bn in 2014. With the increasing number of contract manufacturing organizations (CMO) offering MAb production services, competition in the sector is becoming fierce. Technologies that improve the efficiency of the manufacturing process, therefore, are likely to play a major role in determining which CMOs succeed in the market. Expanded bed adsorption Upfront's EBA system is designed to eliminate costly pre-filtration steps of traditional packed-bed chromatography systems. Upfront hopes that the cost benefits of its approach will lead to its wide-ranging adoption within the MAb manufacturing industry. In addition, because the unit's bed area has been expanded considerably in comparison with standard chromatography setups, particulate impurities are able to pass through the unit without causing it to clog up and increase the required pumping pressure. This allows manufacturers to significantly reduce energy costs.