We spoke with Vera Dreyfuss of evitria AG, an antibody expression services provider based in Switzerland, about the role that the Bio-Rad NGC Chromatography System has played in powering the growth and success of the company.
Purification is a critical step in the production of high-quality biologics. This makes choosing a chromatography system a high-stakes decision for specialist companies like evitria, a Switzerland-based antibody expression services provider. For success, the evitria team needed a customizable chromatography system that could support changing purification demands as the business grew.
The company adopted Bio-Rad’s NGC Medium-Pressure Chromatography Systems in 2010 and has grown impressively ever since. To learn more about the decision and the company’s journey, we checked in with Vera Dreyfuss, evitria’s head of operations. You can read some of Vera’s answers below or watch a short video spotlight here.
Q: Can you tell us a bit about evitria?
A: Sure! evitria is a biotechnology company based in Zurich, Switzerland. We specialize in CHO [Chinese hamster ovary]-based transient expression of antibodies. That includes recombinant, bispecific, and fucosylated antibodies, as well as other proteins. Our clients span the globe and range from small biotech startups to major biopharmaceutical companies to academic institutions.
It’s a really exciting space with a lot of different needs and scales. We get to see that firsthand as an antibody expression specialist. At this point, our team has performed more than 50,000 transfections and produced and purified over 10,000 antibodies and antibody-based molecules. During that time, we have honed our skills and technology so we can tackle a wide array of projects.
Q: When and how did you begin using Bio-Rad’s NGC Chromatography System?
A: Purchasing a reliable chromatography system for antibody purification was a top priority when we launched in 2010. We knew we needed to optimize this step, to compete and remain commercially viable. After significant deliberation, we chose Bio-Rad’s NGC System. We started out with three and haven’t really looked back. The systems are easy to reconfigure as our business grows and evolves. We have also added more personalized components over time, for more complex projects. A little over 10 years later, evitria now has 15 NGC Chromatography Systems powering different antibody expression workflows!
Q: How has the NGC System advanced your workflow and capabilities?
A: Purification is such an important part of the antibody production process. But over time, our needs have changed. For example, in 2015, evitria decided to implement additional polishing steps. Bio-Rad made this possible, helping us order new valves for the additional buffers and developing our new protocol methods on the system’s software. We were back on track in no time — with a better process.
The system is really valuable in scenarios like this, where a program has to evolve or scale. But that’s not every day. A lot of the time, companies just need a reliable system that can keep the projects moving. All 15 of our NGC Systems are simple for our lab technicians to learn and use. The automation makes us all more efficient, even as we strive to deliver the highest quality antibodies.
Q: What do you see as the NGC Chromatography System’s greatest strengths?
A: Put simply, the NGC System is like a Swiss clock: reliable. It helps us make the most out of what can be an expensive and time-consuming process. We can simply program our methods or add components for different projects, while delivering a consistent product at the end of the line. All configurations share a common software platform.
The support we receive from Bio-Rad is another huge advantage. From the beginning, the Bio-Rad team trained and supported us thoroughly. They even prepared us to troubleshoot any potential issues that might arise, so we have the knowledge required to keep instruments up and running. We have a great relationship with Bio-Rad — if we have any problems (which is rare!), we can call them in for help.
Overall, the NGC Chromatography System has been such a key component in evitria’s growth and success. It’s truly the workhorse of the company, and we feel it’s been a great choice for us.