February 2009 Supplement

Quality by Design: Current Regulatory Status and Future Challenges

    Drug manufacturers face the very real challenge of being both innovative and efficient — having to get products to market quickly — whilst at the same time facing existing hurdles that can limit both of these goals. To manufacture products innovatively and quickly, while at the same time reducing costs and ensuring quality, drug manufacturers must find ways to build quality into their processes. Doing so will aid in product approvals, cut down on poor design issues and…

Robustness of Parvovirus–Retentive Membranes and Implications for Virus Clearance Validation Requirements

    Generic validation is conceivable only through a thorough understanding of the parameters affecting the performance of a process step. In this paper, we provide a detailed example demonstrating the robustness of a virus filtration step. As a first step towards the establishment of a generic validation package for a monoclonal antibody, the robustness of clearance of PP7 across the ViroSart CPV filter was evaluated by changing several critical operational parameters using a simple one-off experimental design. Two different…

Single-Use Technologies and Other Key Drivers in Biomanufacturing

      The biomanufacturing industry has issues. From key drivers and hurdles, to the spectre of leachables legislation and the need for greater harmonization between suppliers, the biotech sector is experiencing a period of growing competition and increasing pressure. But, it is also a market with a future; the commercial success of more than 350 approved biologics has prompted the biotechnology industry to accelerate discoveries in further protein-based therapeutics, placing greater emphasis upon the importance of biomanufacturing. In addition,…

The Maturation of the Biomanufacturing Industry

    In my opening editorial, I referred to an industry in transition. This is being driven by challenges that are by no means unique to biotech: all other industry sectors are experiencing similar pressures. We are seeing the impact in terms of factory design, manufacturing technologies, validation and business processes; these are all themes that have been addressed in this supplement. The big innovation in terms of manufacturing systems has been the wholesale acceptance of disposable manufacturing technologies during…

The Reoccurrence of Mycoplasma Contamination: Prevention Strategies

    The contamination of microbiological media by mycoplasmas such as Acholeplasma laidlawii is not a recent phenomenon. It has been a major problem with animal-derived sera since the 1980s and has been a concern in the management of cell cultures for decades. The main culprit of serum contamination was the inadequate blood collection methodology and was eliminated with the introduction of hollow collection needles. In addition to the introduction of an improved collection method, serum was filtered with 0.1…

An Industry in Transition

As an industry, biopharmaceutical manufacturing is in transition and is facing challenges borne out of success. It was in the early 1980s that the first products were commercialized, namely the replacement hormones insulin and human growth hormone. The industry initially grew rapidly in the early ‘80s against a background of an immature supply industry: there were no large-scale columns (>10 cm diameter), column controllers, limited resin supplies and no established ultrafiltration technology. The position today is that the industry has…

Better Positioned Than Ever

    In June 2007, Sartorius AG acquired the French company, Stedim S.A., and a global solution provider for the biopharmaceutical industry was created. Since then, the new company — Sartorius Stedim Biotech (SSB) — has entered into collaborations with a number of other key industry players, including Metroglas, Bayer Technology Services GmbH and the recently acquired Wave Biotech AG to bring technologies such as single-use bioreactors, UVC irradiation and the first disposable–integrated electrochemical pH sensor into its rapidly expanding…

Biopharmaceutical Processes: A Glance into the 21st Century

    Biopharmaceutical drug products are not only well established but also contribute to a large degree to new drug entity filings. Currently approved biopharmaceuticals and proteins are now widely used to treat diseases as diverse as cancer, autoimmune disorders, myocardial infarction and various growth factor deficiencies. The unmet medical need can be so essential, such as a novel approach to cancer treatment, that biotech companies will choose to defer the optimal design of the production process to reduce the…

Disposable Bioreactors in Cell Culture-Based Upstream Processing

    During the last 10 years, cost pressures and the changing requirements for bioreactors in the modern pharmaceutical industry have resulted in the increased use of disposable bioreactors in both R&D and manufacturing. Numerous studies have demonstrated their efficiency in cell culture-based upstream processing at small- and middle-volume scales. As shown in Figure 1, disposable bioreactors with culture volumes between 10 mL and 2 m3 are most widely used for cell proliferation, screening experiments, the production of therapeutic agents…

Disposable Factory or Tailor Made Integration of Single-Use Systems?

    The use of disposables in biopharmaceutical manufacturing has increased significantly during the last few years and is expected to grow substantially in the near future. Bioplan Associates report in their 2007 “Report and Survey of Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing Capacity and Production” that the main drivers for this ongoing trend continue to be the elimination of cleaning followed by the reduction of capital investment in facilities and the required equipment. However, with the further penetration of disposables into larger volumes…