June 2012

Bioreactor Design and Bioprocess Controls for Industrialized Cell Processing

It’s official: The “Age of Cell Therapy” has arrived. A robust pipeline of cell therapies, with increasing numbers of both early- and late-stage clinical trials as well as FDA-approved commercial products that have entered the market already, strongly indicates that the cell therapy industry is poised to emerge as a distinct healthcare sector (1). Renewed investor interest and recent activity among major pharmaceutical companies suggest that this industry will rapidly develop the capability and capacity to be a highly competitive,…

Vertical Integration of Disposables in Biopharmaceutical Drug Substance Manufacturing

    Single-use (disposable) technologies are gaining significant traction in biopharmaceutical manufacturing due to reductions in capital investment for plant construction, lower requirements for cleaning and sterilization, and the advantages of eliminating cross-contamination during multiproduct manufacturing (1,2,3,4). In the early days of disposables, single-use (SU) systems were used only in specific unit operations (5, 6). Recently, however, options have become more widely available throughout drug-substance manufacturing (7,8,9,10). Companies now focus on selecting the right SU technology from an array of…

Implementing a Fully Disposable MAb Manufacturing Facility

    Biopharmaceutical contract services have seen some very important changes and growth in recent years, part of an increasing trend toward outsourcing by pharmaceutical companies both large and small. And we have seen a significant change in the types of services demanded by clients. In addition to typical services such as validation, analytical services, and training, for example, demand has increased for outsourcing of process development, mammalian cell culture, good manufacturing practice (GMP) production, and final formulation and filling.…

Sterilizing-Grade Filter Sizing Based on Permeability

    Sterilizing filtration renders biotherapeutics free of biocontamination. In many cases, sterilizing-grade filters also reduce bioburden or facilitate closed or aseptic processing. They are used to filter active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), formulated bulk, cell culture media, buffer, additives, process intermediates, and so on. Such applications are often critical for ensuring a successful batch operations. Nonetheless, a significant amount of time and resources are typically not devoted to establishing filter sizing requirements for “simple” applications such as buffer filtration. Here,…

Informatics Technologies in an Evolving R&D Landscape

    Over the years, bioprocessing companies have leveraged a host of information technology (IT) to help them bring innovative new therapies to market. As the needs of a research and development (R&D) enterprise evolve, however, are such systems and applications a help or a hindrance? On one hand, the increasing sophistication of IT solutions — such as those designed to help users create advanced molecular models or track thousands of compounds through the discovery process — have enabled new…

Global Marketplace

Fluid Management Product: BioFlex tubing Applications: Single-use bioprocessingFeatures: Meissner’s BioFlex tubing assemblies provide secure fluid paths for single-use systems and scale to allow flow rates >100 L/min. The tubing also connects disposable and stainless steel process equipment. Customizable assemblies can integrate sterilizing-grade through clarification-grade capsule filters. BioFlex products come sterile and ready to use, incorporating required tubing materials, connectors, filters, pinch clamps and other specified components. Pre- and postuse integrity testing procedures also can be accommodated. Contact Meissner Filtration Products,…

IBC’s Fourth Annual BioProcess International China Conference and Exhibition

As the biopharmaceutical industry in China continues to grow, the corresponding demand for high-quality, tactical information and proven strategies continues to increase. Although many people see China’s current technologies and skillsets as lagging behind those of more advanced counterparts in North America, Europe, and Asia, the Chinese industry’s thirst for knowledge and eagerness to adopt and adapt new techniques have enabled it to leap-frog development at an astonishing speed. At IBC’s fourth annual BioProcess International China event, the goal is…

A Proactive Discussion of Synthetic Biology

    Experts in synthetic biology research, law, ethics, and social science from more than a dozen institutions gathered at the Woodrow Wilson International Center in Washington, DC, on 8–9 November 2010 to discuss “Societal Issues Arising from Synthetic Biology: What Lies Ahead.” The workshop was organized by the Department of Energy’s Office of Biological and Environmental Research and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. After plenary presentations on the first day, almost 70 participants broke into groups to discuss potential…

Looking at the Recent FDA Biosimilar Guidelines

Small-molecule treatments are invaluable in providing symptomatic benefits for an array of illnesses. However, many serious conditions — ranging from cancer to autoimmune disorders — respond better to more sophisticated complex drugs such as therapeutic biologics and nonbiologic complex drugs (NBCDs). The latter are medicinal, nonbiological products in which the active substance is not a homomolecular structure, but rather consists of a number of different (closely related) structures that cannot be fully characterized. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)…

Spotting, Tracking, and Predicting Inspection Trends

    Compliant companies, to paraphrase Tolstoy, are all alike. Every noncompliant company seems to find its own way to fall short of compliance with good manufacturing practice (GMP) and come, as did the writer’s famous heroine Anna Karenina, to grief. One commonality of compliant firms is that most seem to have excellent self-auditing/self-inspection programs. Indeed, many inspectors say that a primary predictor of a compliant company is a rigorous self-inspection program. Such a program is appropriately focused, adequately resourced,…