Downstream Development

Understanding Chromatographic Media Ligand Density

    The concept of quality by design (QbD), although not new, has presented implementation opportunities and challenges to both the bioprocessing industry and regulators (1,2,3,4). Tools such as design of experiments (DoE), cause and effect analysis, and multivariate analysis provide for systematic risk assessment and help identify critical quality attributes (CQAs) and critical process parameters (5,6,7). QbD is intended to ensure that manufacturing processes make products that meet predefined quality parameters. Key elements in defining such parameters (quality profile)…

Evaluating Disposable Depth Filtration Platforms for MAb Harvest Clarification

At small to medium scales, single-use technology offers significant advantages over traditional reusable (e.g., stainless steel) manufacturing technology with regard to flexibility, cost of goods, implementation timelines, and maintenance. However, process design based on disposables does create new challenges. With traditional fed-batch processes, harvest clarification is usually achieved by centrifugation followed by depth filtration. For processes based entirely on disposables, the disc-stack centrifuge needs to be replaced by filtration alone. To extend its manufacturing capabilities and capacities, Rentschler decided to…

Scaling Up Normal-Flow Microfiltration Processes

    Scaling up biological processes from laboratory bench to process scale is complex and requires considering a number of factors to ensure process robustness. Due to variability among raw materials and processes, most process developers use generous safety factors to ensure that their systems are not undersized. Although that method can be reduce process risk, it is inefficient. To improve process efficiency and reduce risk, we conducted a study to identify and quantify key factors that contribute to variability…

Optimization, Robustness, and Scale-Up of MAb Purification

The biopharmaceutical industry needs faster and more efficient development of new drugs and their market introduction as well as shorter process development times for both upstream and downstream operations. It has become more commonplace to use high-throughput development techniques to save time (1). Development is also sped up by applying platform technologies based on the unsurpassed selectivity of protein A resins (2,3,4,5,6), which is the foundation for downstream processing of monoclonal antibodies (MAbs). This is the second of two articles…

Considerations in Scale-Up of Viral Vaccine Production

    On 28 June 2011, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations declared the Rinderpest cattle plague virus to be the second troublesome virus (after smallpox) that humans have eradicated from the Earth (1). Such achievements herald exciting times both for classical vaccinology and for many new and developing technologies. Here we consider scaling up of vaccines and related hybrid, targeted, and conjugated viral therapeutics that are made through animal cell culture. The vaccine industry is now…

A World of Innovation

The world faces a clear need for innovative biological products to treat and prevent diseases that cause significant health burdens. What might be less obvious is a need for innovation in biomanufacturing processes. If these products are to be made more efficiently and cost-effectively through less wasteful and safer means, then improvements are definitely needed. “We need innovations in downstream bioprocessing, whether the products are vaccines, recombinant proteins, or other bioproducts,” said Uwe Gottschalk, vice president of purification technologies at…

Streamlining Downstream Process Development

Normal-flow filtration is used throughout downstream processes for biologics including depth, sterile, and viral filtration applications. Because of its ubiquity in large-scale biomanufacturing, using the most efficient normal-flow filter media area and type can lead to significant cost savings. To determine the most effective media type and area, developers use a scaled-down process model is used in bioprocess laboratories to minimize material requirements. Constant–flow-rate filter evaluations involve direct scale-down parameters that match manufacturing-scale process conditions. This type of evaluation can…

Rapid Process Development for Purification of a MAb

Time and flexibility are essential in purification process development for biopharmaceuticals. Easy translation of experimental ideas into process steps and insight into the effects of changes in chromatography parameters both help speed development and contribute toward achieving quality by design (QbD) objectives. An ability to scientifically design product and process characteristics that meet specific objectives is crucial. Opportunities to eliminate manually intensive steps all support an enhanced development process. A typical monoclonal antibody (MAb) purification process includes three chromatographic purification…

Cell Therapy Bioprocessing

          The past 15 years have seen approval and commercialization of the first cell-based therapeutics, including cartilage repair products; tissue-engineered skin; and the first personalized, cellular immunotherapy for cancer. Those successes are outnumbered, however, by all too common product failures. Notable failures can be attributed to commercial concerns such as high cost of goods (CoGs) and technical hurdles such as inadequate characterization, high process variability, and loss of product efficacy when manufacturing is scaled up (1).…

Model-Assisted Process Development for Preparative Chromatography Applications

Process modeling is a core technology in biopharmaceutical production that ensures faster, safer processing and process development. Developing a model involves quite some work, so it is important to use the model efficiently. We describe an industry example of how a mechanistic model is best used under process development and how it increases process understanding and performance.   Present State of Process Development   Biopharmaceutical process development relies heavily on experimentation and previous experience expressed as “rules of thumb” and…