May 2011

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…

Working with a Powerful and Robust Mixed-Mode Resin for Protein Purification

    Orthogonal methods for assuring robust downstream purification are critical to today’s demanding downstream process industry. Regulatory scrutiny on the immunogenic propensity of drugs has increased and broadened over the past two decades. Although immunogenicity can come from a number of sources, common concerns include host-cell proteins and aggregates. Constantly lurking in the background are other issues such as viral clearance, DNA levels, and so on. Those problems can be addressed simultaneously with the mixed-mode chromatographic support known as…

Global Marketplace

Shaker–Incubator Product: Multitron II system with shaker-bag option Applications: Cultivation of mammalian, insect, or plant cells Features: A Multitron II unit (50-mm orbit) with shaker-bag option enables 1- to 10-L cell cultures in disposable bags. Direct gassing of air or air–CO2 mix provides pH stability, and media temperature is controlled by air inside the incubator chamber. Up to three 2-L or two 10-L bags, or one 20-L bag from a number of manufacturers can be accommodated. The system also works…

Disposable Bioreactor Sensors Play Catch-Up

The evolution of single-use bioreactor (SUB) systems in biologics manufacturing has been rapid and influential. Reliance on efficient and flexible bioreactor technology will be critical for reducing scale-up costs and facility capital expenses as well as aggressively growing biotherapeutic and monoclonal antibody production. The biopharmaceutical industry has seen considerable growth in the proliferation of single-use bioreactor platforms as well as manufacturing areas where these systems are applied. Need for Improved Single-Use Sensors As disposable technologies are widely accepted and established,…

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…

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.…

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…

Quality By Design and the New Process Validation Guidance

    Where were you in 1987, and what were you doing? I’m not too embarrassed to say that I was beginning my last year of high school and paying far more attention to guitar lessons and writing my first novel than what I might eventually do for a career. Meanwhile, the US FDA was publishing a guidance document on process validation that the biopharmaceutical industry has relied on ever since. I’m willing to bet that quite a few readers…

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…

The New US Biosimilar Legislation, One Year Later

    About a year ago, President Obama signed into law the highly publicized health care reform bill known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. This legislation included the new Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act of 2009 (now a “biosimilar statute”). Before enactment of that biosimilar statute on 23 March 2010, no “abbreviated” regulatory approval system existed in the United States for biologics — unlike Europe, which has had a system since 2005, and unlike US generic…