June 2011

France Biotech Presents Results of Its 2010 Life-Sciences Survey

    France Biotech (the French association of life-science companies) presented the results of its “Life Science Panorama 2010” survey at the BioVision world life-sciences forum in Lyons, France, on 29 March 2011. The survey describes major trends for 2009–2010 in the life-science industry, both in France and internationally. More than 263 companies responded to the survey this year, and 211 were included in the final analysis.   Main Trends in France   Results of the latest survey attest to…

Nomenclature of New Biosimilars Will Be Highly Controversial

Biopharmaceuticals, including products approved as biosimilars, must be clearly defined, identified, and named to ensure accuracy in writing and filling prescriptions (1,2,3,4). The US biosimilars law enacted last year enables the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve abbreviated biosimilar biologics license applications (bBLAs) or 351(k) filings based largely on their sponsors proving structural, composition, and clinical similarities with an approved biologic (reference product), much like generic drug approvals (5). The agency has yet to disclose how it will implement…

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…

Streamlining Downstream Process Development

Normal-flow filtration is used throughout downstream processes for biologics including depth, sterile, and viral filtration applications. Because of its ubiquity in large-scale biomanufacturing, using the most efficient normal-flow filter media area and type can lead to significant cost savings. To determine the most effective media type and area, developers use a scaled-down process model is used in bioprocess laboratories to minimize material requirements. Constant–flow-rate filter evaluations involve direct scale-down parameters that match manufacturing-scale process conditions. This type of evaluation can…

Rapid Process Development for Purification of a MAb

Time and flexibility are essential in purification process development for biopharmaceuticals. Easy translation of experimental ideas into process steps and insight into the effects of changes in chromatography parameters both help speed development and contribute toward achieving quality by design (QbD) objectives. An ability to scientifically design product and process characteristics that meet specific objectives is crucial. Opportunities to eliminate manually intensive steps all support an enhanced development process. A typical monoclonal antibody (MAb) purification process includes three chromatographic purification…

Global Marketplace

Syringe Technology Product: Dual-chamber Lyo-Ject syringe and V-LK cartridge Applications: Delivery of lyophilized, liquid-powder, and liquid-liquid mixtures Features: Vetter offers two efficient and user-friendly systems for freeze-dried parenteral drugs: the dual-chamber Vetter Lyo-Ject syringe and dual-chamber V-LK cartridge. Lyophilized drug is contained in one chamber; diluent in the other. Reconstitution occurs immediately before administration in a few simple steps. This technology simplifies administration, increases API yields (by reducing overfill), and improves dosing precision. Syringes come in 1-mL, 2.5-mL, and 5-mL…

Top 10 Changes in FDA’s Process Validation Guidance

Two years after drafting a comprehensive revision of the 1987 process validation guidance, the FDA finalized the document this year. The revision elaborates on modern quality by design (QbD) techniques for developing a process, analyzing risks, and monitoring for control. The initial draft update remains largely intact, with some important adjustments focused on clarifying the FDA’s intent for how the industry is expected to validate its processes. 1 — Minor Changes: The guidance includes more references to the Code of…

A World of Innovation

The world faces a clear need for innovative biological products to treat and prevent diseases that cause significant health burdens. What might be less obvious is a need for innovation in biomanufacturing processes. If these products are to be made more efficiently and cost-effectively through less wasteful and safer means, then improvements are definitely needed. “We need innovations in downstream bioprocessing, whether the products are vaccines, recombinant proteins, or other bioproducts,” said Uwe Gottschalk, vice president of purification technologies at…