Affinity chromatography


Chromatography is a chemistry technique that is used to separate components of mixtures depending on the binding interaction of these components with a stationary phase. In affinity chromatography the stationary phase is engineered in such a way that a subset of molecules can be separated out depending on a highly specific interaction (e.g. drug-target/drug, antigen/antibody interaction). Affinity chromatography is used to identify a component in a mixture or to purify or eliminate a component from a mixture.

Target identification

Affinity chromatography can be used to identify the target(s) of a compound: the molecule(s) with which the compound interacts. An affinity column can be prepared in which the stationary phase is coated with the drug candidate. Chromatography of a cell lysate with this column will then make it possible to identify the target(s).

  1. Knowing your action mechanism will increase the value of your compound (easier regulatory approval).
  2. Once you know your target it is easier to create additional series of lead molecules and thus reduce the development risk
    off-target interaction

Most molecules have more than one cell compound with which they interact. This can lead to sometimes dangerous unwanted side effects (e.g. Kinase inhibitors that also interact with kinases that play a role in vital functions of the body). With chromatography it is possible to find off-target interactions.

Traditional affinity chromatography

Affinity chromatography has been established as a useful technique in biochemistry. One limitation of the technology has been the need for the incorporation of a tag or linker-arm in the molecules.

  1. This chemistry step often causes a delay in a project
  2. This requires assumptions about the active center of the molecule to make sure that it's activity will not be destroyed.

Avi-LinkTM affinity chromatography

Avicor has circumvented this need through the combination of several different types of chemistry to attach small molecules covalently onto glass microscope slides.