October 2011

A Brief History of Perfusion Biomanufacturing

    Today’s renewed interest in perfusion culture is due to an increased awareness of its advantages, some general improvement in equipment reliability, and a broadening of operational skills in the biomanufacturing industry. Some misperceptions persist, however, according to a 2011 review by Eric Langer (1). Our view here of the history of perfusion and fed-batch processes includes some discussion of technological process improvements and challenges that the bioprocess industry faces. A team of authors at Serono in Switzerland wrote…

Biosimilars in Development

    The 2009 Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act (BPCIA) provided the bioprocessing industry with the legislative pathway toward approval of biosimilars. US Food and Drug Administration information regarding how it will translate that legislation, however, had been limited until an August 2011 article finally provided some insight on how those guidances might actually play out (1). As expected, the agency appears to be implementing a science-driven approach, with sponsor companies needing to apply complementary orthogonal analytical methods to…

Use of Blast Freezers in Vaccine Manufacture

    Vaccines are powerful and cost effective prophylactic tools for protecting public health. The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations (GAVI) estimates that ~5.4 million lives are saved each year by the administration of vaccines for hepatitis B, measles, haemophilus influenza type B (hib), pertussis (whooping cough), yellow fever, and polio (1). According to the World Health Organization, seasonal influenza alone claims 250,000–500,000 lives every year globally, many of which could be prevented by more widespread vaccination with the…

Evaluating Disposable Depth Filtration Platforms for MAb Harvest Clarification

At small to medium scales, single-use technology offers significant advantages over traditional reusable (e.g., stainless steel) manufacturing technology with regard to flexibility, cost of goods, implementation timelines, and maintenance. However, process design based on disposables does create new challenges. With traditional fed-batch processes, harvest clarification is usually achieved by centrifugation followed by depth filtration. For processes based entirely on disposables, the disc-stack centrifuge needs to be replaced by filtration alone. To extend its manufacturing capabilities and capacities, Rentschler decided to…

Scaling Up Normal-Flow Microfiltration Processes

    Scaling up biological processes from laboratory bench to process scale is complex and requires considering a number of factors to ensure process robustness. Due to variability among raw materials and processes, most process developers use generous safety factors to ensure that their systems are not undersized. Although that method can be reduce process risk, it is inefficient. To improve process efficiency and reduce risk, we conducted a study to identify and quantify key factors that contribute to variability…

Optimization, Robustness, and Scale-Up of MAb Purification

The biopharmaceutical industry needs faster and more efficient development of new drugs and their market introduction as well as shorter process development times for both upstream and downstream operations. It has become more commonplace to use high-throughput development techniques to save time (1). Development is also sped up by applying platform technologies based on the unsurpassed selectivity of protein A resins (2,3,4,5,6), which is the foundation for downstream processing of monoclonal antibodies (MAbs). This is the second of two articles…

GLOBAL MARKETPLACE

Antimicrobial Incubator Product: Multitron incubator shaker Applications: Cell line screening and seed cultures for larger validated processes Features: ATR has added an optional antimicrobial coating to the interior of its Multitron incubator shaker cabinet. This exclusively formulated coating inhibits the growth of bacteria, molds, and fungi over 100,000-fold. The coating is safe, effective, long-lasting, and approved for use in medical and food industries by independent certification. It is applied in production and can be ordered with any Multitron unit. All…

Exchanging Real-World Solutions to Improve Speed, Cost, and Predictability BioProcess International Conference & Exhibition

The BioProcess International Conference is where challenges are explored, solutions are uncovered, and opportunities are developed, making it the largest and most highly respected event solely dedicated to biopharmaceutical manufacturing. Save time and reduce cost of goods with tips on streamlining processes and implementing novel technologies. Find new collaborators and partners with superior networking opportunities at the industry’s largest event devoted solely to biopharmaceutical production. Consult with >150 providers of novel and practical services and products in the exhibit hall.…

Toward Defined Culture Conditions for Pluripotent Stem Cells, Part 1

    On 31 March 2011, ~50 delegates attended a workshop organized by STEMCELL Technologies on implications of standard defined culture conditions for embryonic and induced-pluripotent human stem cells as part of the annual meeting of the UK National Stem Cell Network in York, UK. Researchers from both academia and industry need to develop a better understanding of those implications. Our company wanted to give them a better appreciation of key challenges facing ancillary material suppliers who manufacture standard defined…

From The Editor

      Not long ago I assembled a few current and former coworkers to meet with a young woman who is contemplating a career in journalism. Part of that visit involved comparing experiences of those who had been in the field for many years with those who had finished their formal education only a few years ago. We wondered whether the field still welcomes newcomers with degrees other than in journalism; or whether publishers now insist on that specific…