Firms hope that Upfront’s Rhobust combined with DSM’s XD technologies will aid in downstream processing.

DSM Biologics acquired the assets and associated business of Rhobust™ technology from Upfront Chromatography for pharmaceutical and other applications. DSM will gain all rights for commercialization of Rhobust  and will continue to support all existing clients for this technology. The firm hopes the technology will lead to further innovation in the downstream processing for the manufacturing of recombinant proteins and antibodies.

Rhobust is used with high-titer and high-density cell culture processes. Compared to a conventional harvest approach, the number of unit operations is reduced, Upfront claims. The cells are separated in one step while capturing the protein/antibody of interest. In expanded-bed adsorption (EBA) chromatography, the cell suspension passes through the column and the product is adsorbed either on protein A or on mixed-mode ligand beads. This leads to less handling and shorter process times, Upfront reports.

“The Rhobust technology combined with DSM’s proprietary XD® technology will provide an integral package combining high-titer, high-yield processing with efficient downstream processing, leading to lower manufacturing costs,” says Karen King, president of DSM Biologics.

The Rhobust technology is an invention by Upfront that consists of cross-linked tungsten carbide agarose beads to increase the density of particles. This increased density leads to stable EBA chromatography, according to Upfront.

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