Downstream Development

Are “Land Mines” Hiding in Your Supplier Records?

    A growing trend in US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warning letters has been citations for “no justified rationale.” Since 2004, warning letters taking companies to task for poorly documented decision-making and risk-assessment practices has more than doubled — from two in 2004 to four in 2008 and five in 2009. These citations are always in relationship to risk-based decisions: sampling (what, how often, and how much), nonconformances and corrective/preventative actions (when is “root cause” actual root cause,…

How Pore and Fibrous Interstice Structure Influence Filter Performance

    A common objective in pharmaceutical processing is the removal of solids from fluid suspensions through filtration. The usual purpose is the removal of the solid particles to a specified extent, within a given time interval, at the largest possible throughput. Attainment of those goals is managed by proper selection of filtration conditions: principally an adequate effective filtration area (EFA) as defined by filter porosity and a proper rate of flow as regulated by applied differential pressure (ΔP) over…

Process Development’s Impact on Cost of Goods Manufactured (COGM)

    Manufacturing throughput (the amount of material a plant can produce per year) is affected by process yield and plant run rate. The higher they are, the more a plant can produce per year, requiring fewer lots to meet annual demand. Although a process development team obviously determines the process yield, the team also determines the impact on the run rate of duration and potential implementation complexity of the entire train of unit operations. Thus, an optimized process maximizes…

Questioning the Downstream Bottleneck

In preparing for our October supplement on bioprocess design, BPI’s contributing editor Lorna D. McLeod spoke with Bayer Healthcare’s Harald Dinter (vice president of global biological development) and Jens Vogel (CMC development team leader and head of isolation and purification in global biological development) about the downstream bottleneck. Is it or isn’t it a real problem? Does the answer depend on your point of view? BPI: “Does a company’s downstream capacity place practical constraints on increasing production titers? Is that…

Creation of a Well Characterized Small Scale Model for High-Throughput Process Development

    Streamlining process development has been the focus of the biotechnology industry over the past several years. To be financially viable in the current market, a company has to be competitive in all three of the following areas: quality, speed, and price (1). Attaining any two of the three attributes at a time is no longer sufficient. With new tools and technologies along with improved understanding of the cell-culture process, doing high-quality process development while reducing both cycle time…

Investigating Flow Distribution and Its Effects on Scale-Up

Depth filtration is widely used in the biopharmaceutical industry to purify target proteins by removing whole cells, cellular debris, fines, aggregates, and colloidal particles from the fermentation broth (1,2). At large scale (>2,000 L), culture harvest from a bioreactor is typically processed with a disc-stack centrifuge to remove cells and cell debris. Although centrifugation is very effective for removing whole cells and larger debris, it cannot remove small-size particles, which remain suspended in the centrate. Depth filters are commonly used…

Promoting Discussion in the Biopharmaceutical Community

The Biopharmaceutical Emerging Best Practices Association (BEBPA) hit the scene in September 2008 with its inaugural Bioassay Conference in Berlin, Germany. A not-for-profit association, BEBPA (www.bebpa.org) is managed by the biopharmaceutical scientific community for the benefit of the biopharmaceutical scientific community: companies, regulators, and clinicians. BEBPA provides an open international forum for the presentation and discussion of scientific issues and problems encountered in the biopharmaceutical community. The purpose of this open discussion is to promote development of innovative approaches and…

The Need for a New Process

Surveying BPI readers’ experiences SANJA GJENERO (WWW.SXC.HU) Better, faster, safer: The current drug-development “paradigm” emerging from the FDA is pushing for innovations that reduce process inefficiency and cost. The plethora of new risk-based methodologies include tools being developed as process-analytical-technology (PAT) tools within the encircling parameters of a process design space. All this parallels (and drives) some predictions that the biotechnology industry has seen the last of its blockbuster models, as predictive genomic tools enable personalized approaches to therapeutic development.…

Shrinking the Costs of Bioprocess Development

Process development for large-scale bioproduction is generally more labor-intensive, time-consuming, and expensive than for comparable nonbiological processes because of the large number of individual processes and potential variables involved. To ensure the future commercial viability of biological manufacturing processes and prevent bottlenecks, it is essential to accelerate development of both upstream and downstream processing, as well as to improve process analytics. This not only reduces time and cost factors involved in design of robust bioprocessing protocols, but also reduces the…

Setting the Stage

Much has already been written lately about addressing the so-called “downstream bottleneck(s).” A number of companies are leading the way toward developing products and platforms for reducing both the costs and the time required for downstream processing. Our task with this special issue was to provide a state-of-the-art update on these activities — but as always, within a limited number of pages allotted. The primary issue behind this bottleneck debacle is to address purification challenges posed by aggregation in cell…