Downstream Processing


Downstream processing involves purification of next-generation therapeutic molecules for treatment of cancer, infectious disease, regenerative therapy and other important healthcare applications. These therapeutic molecules particularly include recombinant proteins such as monoclonal antibodies, vaccines based on virus and virus-like particles, cellular organelles, and living cells produced by in vitro cell culture. Purification is accomplished with a wide variety of technologies including chromatography, membrane techniques, selective precipitation, and novel hybrid formats.

The Downstream Processing Group (DSP) is particularly focused on innovations aimed at improving global healthcare. These include development of novel purification technology to reduce manufacturing costs, increase productivity, and improve product safety and efficacy. Some of these innovations involve mechanical systems, such as ultrahigh capacity magnetic nanoparticles, non-column fluidized beds, and simulated moving bed chromatography systems.

Others involve development of novel chemical approaches to fractionation, including methods like steric exclusion chromatography, void exclusion ion exchange chromatography, and hydrogen bond chromatography. DSP also plays an integral supporting role in other Institute research programs by developing purification procedures for newly emerging therapeutic candidates.

The Team

Dr Zhang Wei

Dr. Zhang Wei
Senior Scientist

PhD in Chemical and Pharmaceutical Engineering (2011), Singapore-MIT Alliance, National University of Singapore, Singapore

Research Focus/Interests
  • Development of novel methods for antibody and virus purification
  • Optimization of purification processes for industrial application

Desmond Heng

Dr. Desmond Heng
Scientist III

PhD in Pharmacy (2009), University of Sydney, Australia

Research Focus/Interests
  • Biologics formulation
  • Biotherapeutic delivery
  • Drying technologies
  • Stability studies and shelf-life improvement
  • Medical devices

Nattha Ingavat

Dr. Nattha Ingavat
Associate Staff Scientist

PhD in Department of Chemistry (2017), Johns Hopkins University, Maryland, USA

Research Focus/Interests
  • Antibody (Bispecific antibodies) purification and characterization

Siew Yin Yin

Dr. Siew Yin Yin
Associate Staff Scientist

PhD in Pharmacy (2016), National University of Singapore, Singapore

Research Focus/Interests
  • Biotherapeutics purification and characterization

Patric Chua

Dr. Patric Chua
Research Scientist

PhD in Microbiology (2017), Monash University, Australia

Research Focus/Interests
  • Recombinant Adeno-associated Virus (AAV) purification and characterization