2013

A Sustainable, Single-Use Facility for Monoclonal Antibody Production

Pierre Fabre, the second largest independent pharmaceutical group in France, recently opened a new facility to expand its monoclonal antibody (MAb) production for clinical supply. The Antibody Biotechnology Unit (ABU) facility was designed to provide needed flexibility for adapting to various process and capacity changes, so it includes state-of-the-art single-use technologies. The facility was also built with sustainability in mind to minimize the company’s environmental footprint. The company integrated this plant into an existing antibody research and development (R&D) center,…

How to Hit a Moving Target

Although multiple factors can compromise the drug-like properties of biological molecules, we are still at a very early stage in learning how to assess them. This is despite — or perhaps more correctly, because of — the pharmaceutical industry’s accelerating drive to develop biological molecules as therapeutic agents. And I say “we” because this applies not only to the biopharmaceutical industry itself and the analytical instrument companies that serve it, but also those charged with regulating it. We are all…

Enabling Technologies

    We hear a great deal lately about the maturation of the biopharmaceutical industry — and much advancement over the past decade or so has been in business models, financing, and product pipelines. Meanwhile, regulators around the world have become more well versed in the subject matter and have adjusted their approaches to and expectations from the industry. However, the practical side of developing, characterizing, and manufacturing biotherapeutic products cannot be overlooked — nor its importance overstated. Many technological…

Quality Risk Assessment and Management Strategies for Biopharmaceutical Companies

You’ve probably been hearing a lot about risk assessment in recent months. Indeed, some 15 times more articles have been printed referencing the concept over the past year relative to a 12-month period just three years ago. That truly represents a geometric progression. Unfortunately, very few authors have been able to disambiguate the different methods or provide insight into this time-tested, multiple-industry philosophy that at its core uses good science to make better decisions. When we undertake the challenge to…

Benefits of Business Process Management

The biopharmaceutical sector is synonymous with innovation. There is a general sense, however, that biomanufacturers often don’t “have their houses in order” when it comes to adopting efficient processes, communications, and reporting tools. Indeed, many companies still rely on outdated methods to support areas such as research and development (R&D), manufacturing, clinical trials, and sales and marketing. That is especially true now that the biopharmaceutical sector is undergoing an acquisitory revolution of both rival companies and products. The industry has…

Responding to Life Sciences Manufacturing Industry Guidance

Increasingly, life science manufacturing companies are applying technology to meet quality by design (QbD) goals. Organizations collect overflowing volumes of process data as part of programs designed to improve manufacturing variability and outcomes. Collecting valuable data is now an everyday task thanks to available software and process analytical technology (PAT) tools. The industry today, in fact, has focused so much on gathering data that it often has lost sight of an important fact: Data collection systems are valuable only if…

Cost-Effectiveness and Robustness Evaluation for Biomanufacturing

As the biotech sector has matured, it has come under increasing economic and regulatory pressures for continuous improvement in both drug development and manufacturing. As a result, assessing the value potential of alternative strategies has become critical to decision-making in areas such as bioprocess and facility design, capacity sourcing, and portfolio selection. Related decisions typically involve large cash expenditures and thus have a direct bearing on the feasibility of business units and whole companies. Figure 1:  () Making such decisions…

A Global Joint Venture Strategy for Biosimilars Development

In April 2013, biopharmaceutical company Pfenex (San Diego, CA) announced a joint venture with biologics manufacturer Stelis Biopharma, Inc. (“Stelis”), earlier known as Agila Biotech, (a wholly owned subsidiary of Strides Arcolab Limited (Bangalore, India) for the commercial development of six biosimilars. The companies will also leverage technology and global development expertise from GE Healthcare Life Sciences (Uppsala, Sweden) and Bio-XCell Malaysia (Nusajaya, Malaysia). Such international, multicompany collaboration strategies have become a growing trend in the highly competitive biosimilars industry.…

Biosimilar Products

The Chemistry, Manufacturing, and Controls (CMC) Strategy Forum held on 22 January 2012 in San Francisco, CA, focused on selected scientific and regulatory aspects in the development of biosimilar products. Such products are an increasingly important area of interest for both the biopharmaceutical industry and its regulatory agencies. Biosimilars are highly complex, so scientists have been unable to demonstrate identity to a level typically possible for small molecules. Consequently, specific scientific and regulatory approaches are required to ensure the high…