May 2012 Supplement

An Emerging Answer to the Downstream Bottleneck

    Biotechnology companies have invested billions of US dollars in new manufacturing infrastructure, expanding the industry’s total mammalian cell culture production capacity from 670,000 L in 2002 to 2,550,000 L in 2010 (Figure 1) (1). This capacity expansion is estimated to have cost the industry about $20 billion (Figure 2) (1). Figure 1: Macroporous structure of Natrix chromatography media (see ()   Figure 1: ()   Figure 2: ()   That production capacity (and the investment it represents) is…

Designing the Ideal Bioreactor with Single-Use Technology

    Bioprocessing companies are hoping for a brighter future in biologics manufacturing that will include ever-higher titers of vaccines and therapeutic proteins grown in cell culture. It would also facilitate bioprocess operations without the recurring challenges that stem from process scale-up and human error. Moreover, that future would also comply with increasingly stringent regulatory and current good manufacturing practice (CGMP) requirements while providing better cost controls than we see today. How far away is this future? Perhaps not too…

Scaling Up Stem Cells

    Cell-based products are becoming increasingly important as potential biotherapies. Cell therapy is predicted to have a huge impact on the healthcare sector over the coming decades. Stem cells, in particular, are investigated as potential treatments for a diverse range of applications (such as heart disease and metabolic and inflammatory disorders) in which they might be used to restore lost biological functions. The cell therapy industry is starting to mature. Several emerging companies are now supporting late-stage clinical trials,…

Reducing the Environmental Impact of Single-Use Systems

    Committed to sustainability, EMD Millipore is working to provide solutions for the life sciences industry. This commitment is driven by four global issues: climate protection, global health, clean water, and resource efficiency. The company is designing product and process improvements to address these challenges and meet customer expectations. Figure 1: ()   Life-cycle assessment (LCA) is one of the most rigorous tools we use to help us understand and quantify our products’ environmental impacts (Figure 1). This holistic,…

The Maturation of Single-Use Applications

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.” —Albert Einstein     Single-use systems (SUSs) have been treated as novel technologies for some time. I have spent much of the past 10 years introducing clients to SUSs and integrating them into conventional processes. They are part of the biopharmaceutical development and production landscape and a mature, integrated option for bioprocessing. The value of SUS integration is soundly substantiated: reduced cross-contamination risk…

Single-Use Technology Supports Follow-On Biologics

    Follow-on biologics (FOBs, or biosimilars) differ from generic small-molecule compounds and pioneer biopharmaceuticals in several ways. Those differences affect aspects of their regulatory approval pathway, analytics, and marketing (1). Many biological active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) are actually incompletely characterized dynamic mixtures of macromolecules with slightly different primary compositions or higher-order structure (microheterogeneity). Those properties of macromolecules (unlike small molecules) are greatly influenced by their individual manufacturing process. Emerging regulatory guidelines for follow-on biologics are clarifying aspects of their…

Outlooks on Standardization

    The Friday workshop of the 2011 BPI Conference in November may have been titled “Industrialization of Single-Use Manufacturing Technologies,” but in the discussion afterward, the mainly end-user audience zeroed in on an on-going debate in single-use implementation: standardization. Comments and questions echoed the current opinions, most of which were well known to the all-supplier panel and others present. To follow up on this discussion, I spoke with members of that panel because — as one expert put it…

Implementing Custom Single-Use Solutions for Cell Therapy Production

Cellular therapy continues to expand and gain momentum, as evidenced by the growing number of companies and clinical trials in the field each year. Early potential therapies were developed solely by investigators without communication or input from manufacturing experts. That communication gap led to numerous setbacks as potential products were developed without roadmaps for feasible manufacturing scale-up (or scale-out). Contributions from members of the cell therapy community over the past few years have significantly improved the situation in the form…

Large-Scale, Single-Use Depth Filtration Systems

    Clarifying cell culture broth is the first downstream unit operation in an elaborate sequence of steps required to purify a biological therapeutic. A combination of centrifugation, depth filtration, or tangential-flow filtration (TFF) is used for that operation. The availability of largescale, single-use, depth filtration technology in the recent years, however, has given process developers the capability to improve and simplify downstream processes.   Clarification of Cell Culture Streams   The main purpose of clarification is to efficiently separate…

Large-Scale, Insect-Cell–Based Vaccine Development

    Vaccines are among biotechnological products characterized by continuous growth over the past decade. According to a 2011 report, the global vaccine market is expected to reach US$34 billion in sales by 2013 (1). Much development can be ascribed to vaccine treatments for cancer, autoimmune, and infectious diseases (which have risen significantly) as well as the growing worldwide population and emergence of new pandemics. Although to date the main health impact of vaccines is still in disease prevention, the…