December 2012 Supplement

Biopharmaceuticals On Demand

    By 2016, five of the top 10 biopharmaceuticals are expected to be monoclonal antibodies (MAbs). Follow-on (biosimilar) versions of those blockbusters will most likely become available in later years due to patent expiry and the introduction of legislation for biosimilars around the world. Personalized therapies will drive the fractionation of the biopharmaceutical market, trending biomanufacturing toward smaller batch sizes and campaign-based production schemes. A growing need for flexible, multipurpose, and cost-effective manufacturing will significantly affect the design of…

Safety, Flexibility, and Efficiency

    International pharmaceutical and biotech companies are demanding solutions for current and future challenges of their industries — solutions that will stand the test of time while offering significant advances over current manufacturing techniques. Modern and highly proficient production lines for commercial manufacturing of parenteral drugs can represent a crucial criterion in the success of these companies. New and innovative high-speed filling lines for prefilled syringes present an excellent opportunity to meet current production demands. Following is an example…

Lean Six Sigma

    About 10 years ago as a vice president of Avecia Biologics, I wrote an article for an early issue of BioProcess International looking ahead at likely changes in biomanufacturing (1,2,3). For the best part of the intervening period, Avecia Biologics and Diosynth slugged it out in the marketplace, each trying to grow its contract manufacturing business at the expense of the other. But in a life-altering two-year period between 2009 and 2011, both companies saw their realities and…

Multiproduct Facility Design and Control for Biologics

    Multiproduct facilities are increasingly integral to corporate biologics network and supply chain strategies. Manufacturing capacity strategies ensuring appropriate facility design and procedural controls to manage the risks of producing multiple products are critical to the successful deployment of commercial and clinical supply plans. A Chemistry, Manufacturing, and Controls (CMC) Strategy forum was held in Bethesda, MD, in August 2011 to highlight various challenges, risks, and control strategies associated with multiproduct facilities. Multiproduct strategies for the manufacture of a…

Developing an Integrated Continuous Bioprocessing Platform

    Continuous upstream processing (perfusion) is not a new concept in the bioprocessing industry. Genzyme, Bayer, Centocor, and other companies have been implementing perfusion processes for many years. However, interest is now growing for extending this concept to downstream operations to create fully integrated continuous processing. During the past year, Genzyme has presented on and published about its advancement toward the development of an integrated continuous system (1). The company has completed proof-of-principle development at laboratory scale with different…

Toward Flexible Hybrid Facilities of the Future

    As the bioprocessing industry has shifted away from traditional stainless steel bioreactors and vessels toward single-use technology, a new breed of manufacturing facilities has arisen. Flexible facilities take full advantage of traditional multiuse technologies and combine them with increasingly popular single-use technologies, offering an ability to mitigate risk and decrease manufacturing timelines. Although some companies have made the choice to remain strictly traditional (multiple use) and others have moved fully into single use, the flexible hybrid format gives…

Establishing Strategic Supplier Partnerships to Facilitate Manufacturing Success

    In November 2009, Talecris Biotherapeutics announced an ambitious US$269 million expansion of its Clayton, NC, manufacturing facility. The company was subsequently purchased by Grifols, Inc. in 2011. Constructing a new facility with a state-of-the-art manufacturing process intended to generate clinical products involves top-notch project management, exceptional fortitude, and numerous supply chain decisions. Suppliers are often relied on to provide standard product support. When used effectively, they can be an invaluable resource beyond basic services. Additional support may include…

Efficient, Flexible Facilities for the 21st Century

    A number of recent improvements in the engineering of high-titer expression vectors, in biopharmaceutical process development, and in facility construction have converged to present new opportunities for cost-effective, flexible, biomanufacturing facility construction. The evolution of requirements for biopharmaceutical facilities is driven by globalization of the biopharmaceutical industry, patent expirations of several blockbuster biopharmaceutical products, and the increasing shift in new product development away from blockbuster drugs and toward more personalized, niche products. An increase in product approvals (primarily…