Bespoke affinity ligands for the purification of therapeutic proteins
This article provides an overview of the current challenges and trends in bioprocessing, with a focus on recent advances in the affinity purification of the principal classes of biotherapeutics, including monoclonal antibodies, glycoproteins, vaccines and erythropoietin. Affinity chromatography is usually applied during large-scale protein purification; it involves affinity ligands of biological or synthetic origin. The high productivity that is currently achieved during upstream processing is placing an increasing burden on the downstream production phase which suffers from limited capacities. Consequently, while genetic engineering is helping to increase the stability and capacity of natural ligands, in silico approaches combined with combinatorial chemistry may be used to implement economical purification strategies based on synthetic ligands for the improvement of downstream processing and biomanufacturing.