Removing viral contaminants from animal cell-culture derived biologicals is a major challenge of downstream purification because it involves laborious and time-consuming techniques that result in increased manufacturing costs. Updated regulatory guidelines demanding higher safety margins and enforcing good manufacturing practices are leading to tighter specifications. This stresses the need to implement robust and efficient orthogonal strategies for virus clearance to meet the requirements of a virus-clearance approach based on risk assessment. Such technologies can involve virus removal by nanofiltration, inactivation by ultraviolet C (UVC), and adsorption by membrane chromatography. Additionally, this three-tier platform should be characterized by using disposables to meet the flexibility and low capital requirements needed in early-stage process development. All of these new paradigms in virus clearance are scalable, economical, orthogonal, and disposable.
Viruses are composed of small amounts of DNA or RNA, encapsulated by a protein coat, and may be enclosed in an envelope made of proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids. Viruses exploit the enzymes and other host-cell machinery to replicate themselves. The viral nucleic acid can be single-or double-strand DNA or RNA. A single virion is a completely developed virus particle made of 1–50% nucleic acid and 50–99% proteins or glycoproteins and lipids. Virions range from about 15 to 450 nm in size.