Pharma Focus Europe

Sartorius Enters Research Partnership with The BASE Facility at the University of Queensland

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Sartorius has formed a research partnership with The BASE Facility at The University of Queensland (UQ) to enhance the manufacturing process of nucleic acid products. The collaboration is led by Sartorius' external collaboration group, the Separation Technology Marketing team. The BASE Facility, housed at the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN) at UQ, is internationally recognized for its expertise in mRNA sciences. Associate Professor Tim Mercer and Dr. Seth Cheetham are leading the facility, utilizing the Sartorius platform to offer process development and pre-clinical production services for pDNA, mRNA, dsRNA, and ssRNA to researchers, clinicians, and external companies. Established in 2021, The BASE Facility is funded by Therapeutic Innovation Australia and The University of Queensland. Through this partnership, BASE's advanced manufacturing and analytics capabilities, including innovative next-generation sequencing approaches, will be leveraged to co-develop protocols and methods for nucleic acid-based product production.

The production platform at The BASE Facility is equipped with the Ambr 15 multi-parallel bioreactor system, along with the Ambr Crossflow for multi-parallel crossflow filtration. The PATfix HPLC system is employed for analytics and quality control. The collaboration with Sartorius will facilitate joint efforts to develop tailored processes and protocols for different nucleic acid-based products. Sartorius' platform provides a foundation for implementing automation technologies and Design of Experiments (DoE) principles in bioprocessing.

Leveraging The BASE Facility's extensive expertise in mRNA, the Ambr 15 system is utilized for optimizing in-vitro transcription reactions to synthesize mRNA in a cell-free process. The built-in MODDE DoE software harnesses the unique capabilities of the Ambr 15 system, allowing screening of different process conditions in its 24-multiparallel 15ml mini-bioreactors. The Ambr Crossflow system, similar to the Ambr 15, offers a scale-down model for crossflow filtration processes, which are integral to pDNA and mRNA downstream processing. With high automation capabilities and DoE integration, the Ambr Crossflow is an ideal tool for developing robust processes that can be scaled up to larger volumes. Both Ambr systems incorporate single-use technologies, aligning with emerging bioprocessing platforms at larger scales while offering significant cost reductions compared to conventional process development platforms that lack multi-parallel bioprocessing options.

The PATfix HPLC system, utilizing Sartorius Monolith CIMac analytical columns, enables accurate quantification of nucleic acid-based products. The powerful HPLC system is employed by The BASE Facility scientists to ensure quality control analytics are integral to different production steps, guaranteeing the delivery of high-quality materials to their partners.

The BASE Facility team is dedicated to supporting scientists and clinicians by producing high-quality mRNA materials through processes that adhere to industry-leading standards. The combination of Sartorius systems will greatly enhance the accuracy and speed of bioprocess optimization tasks, enabling The BASE Facility to fulfill its mission more effectively.

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