May 2011

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…