June 2009 Supplement

Single-Use, Continuous-Countercurrent, Multicolumn Chromatography

    Manufacturing processes for biopharmaceuticals have undergone significant changes over the past decade. One of the most striking results of improved process sciences is the dramatic rise in expression levels from animal cell cultures. Figure 1 shows how some monoclonal antibody titers have increased about 30-fold over the past 15 years. These increasing titers have allowed current biomanufacturing facilities to produce larger product quantities than anticipated at the time they were designed and built. Figure 1:   As a…

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…

A Presanitized, Purpose-Designed, Single-Use TFF Strategy

    For many years, biopharmaceutical manufacturers have worked to increase capacity, address upstream production issues, and improve product yields. Notable successes recently achieved in upstream technology have significantly increased expression rates and therefore, upstream production capacities. Successes in generating higher titers combined with increasingly stringent quality and regulatory requirements have led to a number of challenges in aligning the efficiency of downstream processing with upstream titers. It is generally recognized that downstream processing costs account for about 70% of…

Development of a Turn-Key Harvest Solution for Small-Volume Bioreactors

Over the past 10 years, disposable bioreactors have grown from a niche tool servicing small-scale projects to a common and essential component in the CGMP production of human therapeutics (1). Recent advances in filter integration, aseptic connectors, and disposable sensing allow entire cell culture processes to be performed using only single-use components. However, harvest and clarification operations remain largely dependent on centrifugation, cross-flow filtration, and depth filtration (2), which are all techniques that have not been widely adapted to single-use…

Hydrophobic-Interaction Membrane Chromatography for Large-Scale Purification of Biopharmaceuticals

    Biopharmaceutical manufacturing is divided into two areas: upstream fermentation or cell culture and downstream purification processes. Each area contains multiple unit operations. A unit operation is defined as a step in processing using a particular type of equipment. Here, we focus on downstream process development, which must reliably produce a highly purified drug substance (often >99%). Downstream processing includes recovery, capturing, and polishing steps. The primary downstream unit operation is chromatography because of its simplicity and high resolving…

Setting the Stage

Much has already been written lately about addressing the so-called “downstream bottleneck(s).” A number of companies are leading the way toward developing products and platforms for reducing both the costs and the time required for downstream processing. Our task with this special issue was to provide a state-of-the-art update on these activities — but as always, within a limited number of pages allotted. The primary issue behind this bottleneck debacle is to address purification challenges posed by aggregation in cell…