The optimization of a new process for the extraction of human coagulation factor VIII (FVIII) from plasma with the tailor-made affinity matrix dimethylaminopropylcarbamylpentyl-Sepharose CL-4B (C3---C5 matrix) is described. First, plasma is applied to DEAE-Sephadex A-50 anion exchanger in order to separate a number of proteins, including coagulation factors II, IX and X (prothrombin complex), from FVIII. Subsequently, the unbound fraction of the ion exchanger, containing FVIII, is contacted with the C3---C5 affinity matrix. Optimization of the FVIII affinity chromatographic procedure is accomplished in terms of the ligand density of the matrix, adsorption mode (batch-wise versus column-wise adsorption and matrix to plasma ratio), and conditions of pH and conductivity to be applied on washing and desorption. In scale-up experiments, by processing 20 1 of plasma, the recovery (340 U VIII:C/kg plasma) and the specific activity (s.a.) (1.2 U VIII:C/mg protein) are better than those obtained by cryoprecipitation (recovery 300 U VIII:C/kg plasma, s.a. O.3 U VIII:C/mg protein). The newly developed process using the specially designed C3---C5 affinity matrix has potential application in the process-scale purification of FVIII.