Author Archives: Miriam Monge

Single-Use Production Platforms for Biomanufacturing

The pipeline of biopharmaceuticals remains strong, and the market for biologics could exceed US$450 billion by 2025. Analysts predict that sales within segments such as regenerative medicine and antibody–drug conjugates (ADCs) will grow faster than 20% each year. Yet considerable challenges remain for biopharmaceutical companies to overcome if they wish to be successful. First, they must reach the market quickly. Analysis by the Boston Consulting Group shows that the proportion of available value that a newly launched product can capture…

The 2017 World Biological Forum: Successes and Future Trends in Continuous Biomanufacturing

Continuous biomanufacturing was a central topic at the fourth annual World Biological Forum in Oxford, UK, on 26–28 June 2017. A well-rounded lineup of presenters appeared at this forum held in Oxford University’s Lady Margaret Hall, an eclectic location that well captured the historic charm of the university. Delegates were well supported throughout the meeting with generous meals, refreshments, and assistance provided by helpful staff. Papers were presented in Talbot Hall in the center of the college. The stately main…

Deciding on an Integrated Continuous Processing Approach: A Conference Report

Biopharmaceutical manufacturers are increasingly investigating or implementing continuous processes, and industry experts are participating in vibrant and healthy discussions on a wide range of process approaches being adopted. We seem to have entered a phase within the biopharmaceutical industry (which is often described as conservative) of intense bioprocess innovation as manufacturers strive to lower costs and provide agile, responsive supply chains for “drug on demand” continuous manufacturing operations. Senior industry leaders met in Berkeley, CA, in late 2015 at ECI’s…

Implementing Flexible, Scalable, and Cost-Efficient Bioprocess Platforms: A Proven Project Management Approach

Although significant scientific progress has been made in the biotechnology industry, it has lagged behind other sectors — such as aviation and automotive — in developing, scaling up, and industrializing products coming out of R&D. The goal is to implement robust and reliable manufacturing processes for good manufacturing practice (GMP) market supply cost-effectively. But manufacturing methods for biologics have remained unchanged for decades, with large-scale, capital-intensive stainless steel facilities taking three to five years to build and remaining both energy…

Entrepreneurship, Lessons Learned, and Bioindustry Perspectives: An Interview with Roger-Marc Nicoud

Roger-Marc Nicoud received his PhD from the University of Lorraine in process simulation for the nuclear industry. He joined Separex in 1987, first as a technical director and then as a managing director until 1995. Between 1993 and 1995, he also worked as professor and headed a research laboratory involved in thermodynamics at the University of Lorraine. Nicoud founded Novasep in 1995 with the objective of developing comprehensive solutions for producing biologic and synthetic molecules. Novasep became a leading life-sciences…

Creating Value Through Investment

During my MBA course, Professor Pierre Casse — then at the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) in Lausanne, Switzerland — regularly reminded us that one key to success was constantly finding new ways to “delight and inspire your clients” by creating value. SAFC achieved that objective in its “Overcoming Supply Chain Vulnerability and Lowering Risk in Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing” symposium 17–18th June 2014 in Turnberry, Scotland. Along with a day of industry insight, the event included a visit and tour…

Optimizing for the Future

The 2013 biennial meeting of the European Society for Animal Cell Technology (ESACT) was in Lille, France this past June. While there, BPI editorial advisor Miriam Monge (vice president of Biopharm Services Ltd.) interviewed ESACT executive committee member Hitto Kaufmann, PhD (vice president of biopharmaceutical process sciences for Boehringer Ingelheim). They talked about some scientific developments being discussed at this year’s ESACT conference as well as Boehringer Ingelheim’s recent announcement about setting up in China and Kaufmann’s own thoughts on…

A Sustainable, Single-Use Facility for Monoclonal Antibody Production

Pierre Fabre, the second largest independent pharmaceutical group in France, recently opened a new facility to expand its monoclonal antibody (MAb) production for clinical supply. The Antibody Biotechnology Unit (ABU) facility was designed to provide needed flexibility for adapting to various process and capacity changes, so it includes state-of-the-art single-use technologies. The facility was also built with sustainability in mind to minimize the company’s environmental footprint. The company integrated this plant into an existing antibody research and development (R&D) center,…

Monoclonal Antibody Manufacturing

    Continuing the theme of this occasional series, we examine the role of manufacturing in the supply chain in terms of what is required to deliver affordable medicines to patients. The industry has debated the relevance of manufacturing costs in the overall big picture (1). Rising manufacturing costs as a proportion of the overall selling price coupled with increased competitive pressures creates a strong drive to reduce manufacturing costs. However, cost of goods (CoG) is not the only strategic…

Influence of Process Development Decisions on Manufacturing Costs

    As we have discussed, cost has not always featured highly during bioprocess development, in which traditionally the focus was on product quality, regulatory compliance, and speed to generate material for the clinic (1). As the industry matures in commercializing successful products, increasing competition (both from competing products and biosimilars) leads to issues of cost and manufacturability coming to the fore. Solutions adopted will depend on each organization: At one extreme are small biotech companies developing novel therapeutic proteins;…