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April 03, 2020

When minerals enable advanced filtration for biopharma needs

Specially treated diatomite, high-purity filter aids (HPFA) are used for solid/liquid separation in biotechnology and pharmaceutical applications.

Celpure

Imerys Celpure® is a HPFA specifically designed for blood plasma fractionation and for harvesting and clarifying antibodies and proteins.

Imerys Celpure® is a high-purity filter aid (HPFA) that uses specially treated diatomite for solid/liquid separations – the process of passing a fluid through a permeable material to remove solid particles.

The product’s history stretches back to 1997, when World Minerals Inc., a company that became part of Imerys in 2005, obtained a patent for an advanced filtration product especially for the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. Until that point, customers had to rely on standard industrial or food-grade versions of diatomite, or alternatives, such as perlite. 

In 1998, World Minerals built a plant to produce HPFAs that use proprietary processes, including acid washing, as advanced techniques that ensure the final product meets the strict regulatory requirements for pharmaceutical processing.

Celpure® is being produced from Imerys’ state-of-the-art Lompoc plant in California, US. The Lompoc site was extended multiple times, most recently in 2017, more than doubling capacity for purified products. Its advanced process control laboratory and specialized and controlled access storage warehouse, along with plastic packaging, help eliminate contamination.

Diatomite’s properties combined with unique Imerys expertise: the perfect match for biotech needs

Diatomite’s properties – it is rigid, powdery, porous and non-metallic – make it ideal for the high-spec needs of pharmaceutical and biotech activity. Celpure® offers enhanced purity and filtration speed over conventional filter aids.

Celpure® is now the HPFA of choice in biotechnology and bio-pharmaceutical applications, including blood plasma fractionation, and as a filtration-boosting process aid for harvesting and clarifying antibodies and proteins.

The plasma therapeutics industry is making a fast-track effort to develop antibody treatments for Covid-19 using what is referred to as convalescent plasma. This is the plasma collected from people who have recovered from coronavirus and thus may have a higher concentration of antibodies. Many of these development activities will use Celpure Plant HPFA products as an integral part of the fractionation and purification processes. These antibodies treatments are then transferred to new patients, which may help their immune system respond to the disease and increase their chances of recovery.

As the population grows and diagnostics improve, the need to protect public health and ensure life-saving drugs are available will continue to increase. Celpure® provides superior and consistent quality to meet this need within this industry. 
Imerys is committed to ensuring Celpure® is readily available to support the growing demand and we are extremely proud to be a part of processes that improves the quality of life for many.
Joe Spahn
Commercial Director - Life Sciences Americas

Mineral Diatomite Health & Personal Care
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