March 2011

Industry Roundtable

    With one eye on commercialization and the other on monitoring every-day challenges, cell therapy manufacturers are asking critical questions about process efficiency, ensuring quality, and satisfying regulatory demands. In this “virtual” roundtable discussion (participants were asked questions separately), cell therapy industry representatives answer key questions in hopes of broadening understanding about this new class of biopharmaceuticals. Participants in this roundtable are Timothy Fong, PhD (director cell therapy, Becton Dickinson Biosciences), Annemarie Moseley, PhD, MD (CEO, Repair Technologies), Firman…

Minimizing Variation of Volume Withdrawn from a Vial Drug Package

Concerns for safety in administration of injectable drug products have escalated in recent years. As a result, scrutiny of administration practices has increased. Pharmaceutical manufacturers are placing greater emphasis on providing the best patient and caregiver experience as well as improving the convenience of drug administration. In fact, many drugs that are regularly administered for chronic conditions are now being offered for at-home preparation and administration. These trends highlight the importance of providing therapies that are not only effective, but…

Addressing Business Models, Reimbursement, and Cost of Goods

The early ISCT organization provided a powerful forum for sharing solutions, developing standards, and moving the emerging concepts in cell therapy forward as the field grew up and out of academia. Currently, the ISCT organization is uniquely positioned to facilitate sharing of best practices, standards, and strategies across the for- profit cell therapy industry through its Commercialization committee. The Business Models, Reimbursement and CoGS (cost of goods sold) subcommittee of the ISCT Commercialization committee was formed to address several key…

From The Editor

          Early on in the life of BPI we offered a few “closer” pages that we called “Defining Moments.” It was to be a forum for distinguishing between terms that are misused and for proposing new definitions for new approaches. In fact, because one particular topic came up again in a conference I attended this past January regarding the terms analytical and bioanalytical, we decided to revisit one of these entries from 2005 (with a few…

Model-Assisted Process Development for Preparative Chromatography Applications

Process modeling is a core technology in biopharmaceutical production that ensures faster, safer processing and process development. Developing a model involves quite some work, so it is important to use the model efficiently. We describe an industry example of how a mechanistic model is best used under process development and how it increases process understanding and performance.   Present State of Process Development   Biopharmaceutical process development relies heavily on experimentation and previous experience expressed as “rules of thumb” and…

Building a Bridge to Commercial Success

The history of the biopharmaceutical industry is one of continual invention and reinvention, of business models that have adapted to weather uncertain product futures and shifting economic fortunes. Some of us followed the up-and-down (and often financially painful) progress of monoclonal antibodies toward their eventual commercial success — a wealth of experience to draw from as other classes of products make their way from laboratories and onto the market. The vast majority of regenerative medicines are still produced at laboratory…

Industry Educational Platforms Drive Commercialization Objectives

    Within the International Society for Cellular Therapy’s (ISCT’s) Industry Commercialization committee, Tracey Lodie, director of immunology and stem cell biology at Genzyme, chairs the Industry Education subcommittee, which was established in May 2010. In an interview with BPI, she described the subcommittee’s objectives and how they tie into the manufacturing, testing, and commercialization challenges for cellular therapies.   Reducing the Risk   “ISCT is working toward becoming an informational hub, acting as a resource to de-risk cell therapy…

Therapies of Tomorrow Require More Than Factories from the Past

Live cells are being incorporated as active agents and delivery vehicles for a broad range of emerging therapeutic strategies. Successful commercialization of a cell therapy requires more than proving its safety and efficacy to regulators. Ultimately a therapy must be commercially viable, allowing enough patients to be treated with an adequate financial margin to justify investment in it as a product. “Whether the cells used are universal (allogeneic) or patient-specific (autologous), it is unlikely to be wholly one or the…

Building from the Ground Up

    New treatment modalities — as transformative as they may be of our approaches to human healthcare — still need to be profitable for their developers, provide the sorts of returns desired by investors, and be accessible to patients financially. As many industry experts have told us, the venture capital climate these days is much different from that of the early, giddier days of monoclonal antibodies. And with criteria still-emerging around the world for how regenerative medicines are and…

Successful Commercialization Through Industry Collaboration

    Nearly a year ago, the International Society for Cell Therapies (ISCT) decided to integrate industry into its organization to build a stronger platform for commercializing therapies. Robert Deans, vice president of regenerative medicine at Athersys, was invited to serve as a leader of ISCT’s Industry Task Force, which aimed to identify industry roles in its organization. Within two months, the task force invited industry members and chartered a white paper (1) that described how ISCT should go forward.…