Author Archives: Lorna D. McLeod

Multiproduct Facility Design and Control for Biologics

    Multiproduct facilities are increasingly integral to corporate biologics network and supply chain strategies. Manufacturing capacity strategies ensuring appropriate facility design and procedural controls to manage the risks of producing multiple products are critical to the successful deployment of commercial and clinical supply plans. A Chemistry, Manufacturing, and Controls (CMC) Strategy forum was held in Bethesda, MD, in August 2011 to highlight various challenges, risks, and control strategies associated with multiproduct facilities. Multiproduct strategies for the manufacture of a…

Uniting Small Molecule and Biologic Drug Perspectives

    Cosponsored by CASSS (an international separation science society) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the January 2010 CMC Strategy Forum explored antibody–drug conjugates (ADCs), which are monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) coupled to cytotoxic agents. The ADC platform of products is being used more and more for clinical evaluation in oncology. More than a dozen companies are developing several types, including products conjugated with calicheamicin, auristatins, and maytansinoids. Such products use the specificity of a MAb to deliver…

Fill and Finish for Biologics

    As most novelists will tell you, if you make substantial changes to the beginning of a story, you may well need to revise your preestablished conclusion. Similarly, as approaches to process design and development change, new tools, technologies, and various shifting “paradigms” also affect the way companies approach final formulation, filling, and finish steps. As yet another ref lection of increased process understanding and quality-by-design’s (QbD’s) holistic approach to biopharmaceutical development, those final steps — traditionally outsourced by…

Glycosylation of Therapeutic Proteins

    ACMC Strategy Forum held in Washington, DC, on Sunday 28 January 2007, focused on two topics related to protein structure and function. First, analytical techniques used in the glycan analysis characterization included recent advances and correlations among the various tools. And second, current understanding glycosylation’s functional relevance to therapeutic proteins was discussed in the context of its effects on biological activity, pharmacokinetics, and Fc effector functions (for monoclonal antibodies, MAbs). Progress has been made in the field of…

The Role of Higher-Order Structure in Defining Biopharmaceutical Quality

    Cosponsored by CASSS (an International Separation Science Society) and the US FDA, the 17th CMC Strategy Forum was designed to explore the relationships between higher-order molecular structure and quality of therapeutic proteins and peptides, vaccines, and blood-derived products. Understanding those relationships is important to defining and controlling the critical quality attributes (CQAs) of biopharmaceutical products. The forum program highlighted the current state of the art for analytical tools used to monitor higher-order structure. Case studies demonstrating the effects…

The Collaborative Future: A Case Study

    In our February 2010 special report, “The Time Has Come for Automation in Bioprocessing,” one theme that made itself clear was the need for vendors, biopharmaceutical companies, and sometimes even regulators to work together toward the goal of better, faster, and cheaper product development through (among other things) automation technologies. Martin Rhiel of Novaris cell and process R&D told us, “It would be really nice to just buy it and implement it, but this doesn’t always work…Nowadays, the…

Managing the Product Pipeline

    In 2007, the biopharmaceutical market represented ~$71 billion: 10% of the entire pharmaceutical market. Therapeutic proteins and monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) account for 98% of all biotherapeutics in development, the rest being blood proteins and enzymes — all the products of recombinant DNA technology. Before the recession hit full on, growth of this market was estimated by some at ~15%. (Now it’s hard to predict at all.) Making biotech drugs consumes huge amounts of time and money, but they…

The Business of Biotechnology

    All companies — large and small, biotech included — have felt the pinch of the current (or recent, depending on your point of view) recession. From huge multinational companies to virtual start-ups, all are taking a good hard look at the way they do business. And as it does every year, the 2010 BIO International Convention will offer something for every company and every situation. Business-oriented sessions range from hard-earned experience to provocative new ideas. On the BioProcess…

The Time Has Come for Automation in Bioprocessing

    As early as 1997, automation was ready to offer potential benefits to the bioprocess industry (1). Professor Bernhard Sonnleitner of the Zürich University of Applied Sciences’ Institute for Chemistry and Biological Chemistry suggested a “standard operating procedure” and pointed to the opportunities, requirements, and potential pitfalls of applying the principles of automation to bioprocess development and operations. If “boring and less interesting routine tasks” could “more efficiently and reliably be handed down to machines,” he explained, then personnel…

The Road to a Fully Disposable Protein Purification Process

    What’s keeping senior biopharmaceutical executives awake late at night? According to BioPlan Associates, Inc., which publishes an annual comprehensive survey of the state of worldwide biopharmaceutical manufacturing, capacity constraints are among the key issues at hand (1). And one of the most important constraints is the lack of physical capacity in purification equipment. Bioreactors are producing a lot more protein than current downstream purification steps are designed for. Overcoming the resulting bottlenecks may require increasing the productivity of…