February 2009 Supplement

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…

Disposable pH Sensors

    This paper describes the design, development and validation procedure for a novel, single-use gamma-stable electrochemical pH probe jointly developed by Sartorius Stedim Biotech SA and Metroglas. This new, single-use pH sensor offers a range of pH measurements (from 0 to 11 with ±0.1 precision) and features a one-point calibration process in its storage solution that provides a fast and easy pre- and post-use sensor performance check. Also described is a specific encapsulation device designed to integrate the pH…

Extractables and Leachables from Single-Use Disposables

Evaluating single-use systems for extractables and leachables is new territory for many end-users. This paper presents a risk-based approach for evaluating extractables and leachables from single-use systems. Approaches are described that have been accepted by various regulatory agencies utilizing risk assessments and sound scientific principles. Biopharmaceutical processing materials must be evaluated to determine whether they impact the final drug product with regard to safety and efficacy. For single-use and reusable systems, this usually leads to evaluations that demonstrate compatibility with…

Implementing Cost Reduction Strategies for HuMab Manufacturing Processes

    The combination of innovative and traditional process technologies has resulted in major advancements in the antibody industry, such as accelerated process development and time-to-market. In addition, this paper examines the avenues that have opened as a result of exploring established process technologies for new applications, as in the case of perfusion cell cultures to amplify dhfr-based expression cell lines by incrementally increasing selection markers in the perfusion medium for the faster generation of stable and high-productivity clones. Furthermore,…