Biopharmaceutical downstream processing (also known as DSP) refers to the recovery and purification of a drug substance (DS) from natural sources, such as animal or bacterial cells. Biopharmaceutical downstream processing is applicable in mAb or protein processes, as well as in the manufacture of oligonucleotides, polysaccharides and various vaccines.
Downstream processing is typically defined as the unit operations following completion of cell growth and expansion, as well as completion of drug substance synthesis or other product formation. The purpose of downstream processing is to isolate, purify and concentrate the previously synthesized drug substance or other product from the complex bulk matrix.
Downstream processing may also include formulation activities, signifying the transition from drug substance to drug product (DP). Furthermore, downstream processing considerations include resource management and management of multiple waste streams and biohazards. Downstream processing activities are performed at laboratory, pilot and manufacturing scale and involve Process Analytical Technology (PAT) and Manufacturing Science and Technology (MSAT) teams which focus on process optimization, scale-up and troubleshooting.