October 2011

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…

Product Life-Cycle Management

    Even before the advent of biosimilar products, biopharmaceutical products faced life-cycle concerns. The discovery–development–licensure process is just the beginning. Drug sponsors hope each new product will enjoy decades of relevance and generate millions of dollars in sales. But “me-too” products will come along, process technologies will change, and patents will expire. Even product innovators have to think about comparablity. Out-of specification results can signal problems that have their roots in raw material choices and sources, equipment deviations, analytical…

A Best-Practices Exchange with Solutions to Common Problems and Techniques for Next-Generation Products Formulation Strategies for Protein Therapeutics

Now in its 11th year, IBC’s Formulation Strategies for Protein Therapeutics is a must-attend annual conference for formulation, delivery, and analytical development scientists from biotherapeutic development organizations around the world. The 28 case studies to be presented at this year’s conference were chosen to offer solutions to the most pressing day-to-day challenges in formulation development for therapeutic proteins. Additional presentations address cutting-edge protein science from leading academics and include briefings on strategic issues of importance to this important field: Solutions…

Monoclonal Antibody Manufacturing

    Continuing the theme of this occasional series, we examine the role of manufacturing in the supply chain in terms of what is required to deliver affordable medicines to patients. The industry has debated the relevance of manufacturing costs in the overall big picture (1). Rising manufacturing costs as a proportion of the overall selling price coupled with increased competitive pressures creates a strong drive to reduce manufacturing costs. However, cost of goods (CoG) is not the only strategic…

Limited Analytical Technologies Are Inhibiting Industry Growth

    Progress in the development of bioprocessing-related assays and analytical instrumentation has not kept up with industry demands. The industry wants analytical technologies (especially for single use) to help improve productivity, optimize and monitor processes, provide real-time product quality control, and characterize biosimilars. These trends are reflected in our recent survey data. Over 30% of biopharmaceutical manufacturers and contract manufacturing organizations (CMOs) have expressed demands for improved assays and analytical equipment (1). BioPlan Associates’ eighth annual survey of biopharmaceutical…

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…