May 2011 Supplement

Productivity Bottlenecks Drive the Demand for Innovation

    Spending is up, the global economy is slowly getting back on track, and the biopharmaceutical industry continues to roll along at double-digit growth. Productivity has been the primary industry focus over the past few years, and it remains a hot topic. Companies are aggressively going after the bottlenecks to their efficiency, and now they’re opening their wallets to fix what’s broken. One of the biggest productivity fixes today centers on improved single-use devices and systems. They top a…

Improved Downstream Technologies Are Needed to Boost Single-Use Adoption

Greater adoption of single-use systems in biomanufacturing is going to require downstream device innovation. To get there, over a third of the biopharmaceutical industry is demanding that suppliers innovate and develop new single-use purification devices, according to BioPlan Associates, Inc.’s annual survey of biopharmaceutical manufacturing capacity (1). Such new products would create exceptional opportunities for innovators. However, calls for new, more fully integrated single-use technologies and processes will require more adventurous innovation on the part of biomanufacturers and their suppliers.…

Adoption of Single-Use Sensors for BioProcess Operations

The increasing adoption of single-use technology in biopharmaceutical, vaccine, and cell therapy production is one indication that such technology has moved far beyond its novelty stage. Arguably, this is the preferred technology of newly developed processes. Benefits have been well documented in journals and conference presentations and have led the industry to form the Bio-Process Systems Alliance (BPSA). One current need is for process sensors that offer the same convenience as disposable bags, tubings, and filters being used. An ideal…

Disposable Downstream Processing for Clinical Manufacturing

Although disposable parts and modules have been used in the biopharmaceutical industry since the 1970s, as detailed in the “History” box, total disposable manufacturing has become a viable option only very recently. Whereas liquid storage became disposable in the 1990s, processing operations such as depth filtration, tangential-flow filtration (TFF), and chromatography have still required skids with reusable flow paths that needed cleaning and sanitization. Important recent milestones in total disposable technology included introduction of stirred bioreactors by HyClone (Thermo Scientific)…

Implementing a Single-Use Solution for Fill–Finish Manufacturing Operations

    Fill–finish is the final operation in manufacture of sterile products (except for terminally sterilized products). This process requires sophisticated technology and machinery in a highly controlled, aseptic environment. Fill–finish assemblies must meet stringent requirements to ensure flow-path sterility and integrity, ensure operational safety and efficiency, and provide fill-volume accuracy to exacting requirements. Traditional fill–finish machinery comes as fixed systems comprising complex components that require assembly, cleaning and sterilization, disassembly, and material storage after filling is complete. Those operational…

From the Editor

        Bonjour! I am writing this from Nice, France, on the last day of the eighth annual BPI European Conference and Exhibition organized by our London-based Informa Life Sciences colleagues. Despite the attraction of some exquisite spring weather (a welcome respite for me from the rain-drenched Pacific Northwest), sessions were well attended till the very end, and discussions were lively and productive. This event was organized into five tracks: manufacturing strategies, process optimization, economics and QbD; cell…

A Case Study in Qualification of Single-Use Filling Manifolds for Particles and Endotoxins

    Single-use technology is being examined for implementation in an increasing number of steps in the biopharmaceutical manufacturing process. Some examples of currently available disposable components include filter capsules, tubing, connectors, and biocontainers (for storage, mixing, and bioreactors), as well as devices for chromatography and multipass tangential-flow filtration (1,2). This technology was first implemented in upstream and API downstream processes such as media and buffer preparation, followed by upstream bioreactors and mixers (3). The single-use trend has most recently…

Are Single-Use Technologies Changing the Game?

Recently, I have heard the term game changer used to describe single-use technologies (SUTs). Whether this is hyperbole or reality remains to be seen. But it does bring baseball to my mind. After all, it’s finally spring, games began in April, and optimism reigns supreme — at least in some major-league cities. I was struck recently by an article in my home-town Washington Post by venerated columnist Thomas Boswell, who wrote in March about hope for the future of our…