Downstream Validation

The Reoccurrence of Mycoplasma Contamination: Prevention Strategies

    The contamination of microbiological media by mycoplasmas such as Acholeplasma laidlawii is not a recent phenomenon. It has been a major problem with animal-derived sera since the 1980s and has been a concern in the management of cell cultures for decades. The main culprit of serum contamination was the inadequate blood collection methodology and was eliminated with the introduction of hollow collection needles. In addition to the introduction of an improved collection method, serum was filtered with 0.1…

Robustness of Parvovirus–Retentive Membranes and Implications for Virus Clearance Validation Requirements

    Generic validation is conceivable only through a thorough understanding of the parameters affecting the performance of a process step. In this paper, we provide a detailed example demonstrating the robustness of a virus filtration step. As a first step towards the establishment of a generic validation package for a monoclonal antibody, the robustness of clearance of PP7 across the ViroSart CPV filter was evaluated by changing several critical operational parameters using a simple one-off experimental design. Two different…

Managing the Analytical Life-Cycle for Biotechnology Products

The analytical program for a given biotherapeutic has a life-cycle analogous to that of a manufacturing process used to prepare material for clinical and commercial use. This two-part article discusses analytical activities associated with the progression of biotherapeutic candidates from the early stages of clinical development through their appearance as licensed drugs on the market. In Part One, we examined the stages of the analytical life-cycle. Here we conclude by going into more detail on challenges associated with method qualification,…

Biotech Facilities Average a Batch Failure Every 40.6 Weeks

Gathering information about batch failure rates in the biopharmaceutical industry is about as easy as getting politicians to talk about their most embarrassing gaffes and indiscretions. Although it comes as no surprise that batches do fail, some readers may be surprised at how relatively well many organizations appear to be performing. Based on the results of our recently released annual report and survey (1), facilities are experiencing batch failures at an average rate of about one every nine months (40.6…

Managing the Analytical Lifecycle for Biotechnology Products

Biotechnology pipelines have demonstrated significant growth over the past decade, with many therapeutic candidates evolving in a single class of protein molecules: the monoclonal antibodies (MAbs). To develop such therapeutic candidates, a scalable drug development process must leverage in-house and industry-wide knowledge so biotechnology companies can address the economic and medical needs of 21st-century medicine. Biotherapeutics development is complex, resource intensive, and time consuming, taking some 10 years of effort to go from target validation to commercialization. This reality, coupled…

Validation of Adventitious Virus Removal By Virus Filtration

Regulatory bodies around the world expect downstream purification processes to demonstrate robust clearance of model adventitious viruses in time for execution of phase 3 clinical trials and product licensure (1,2,3). Model viruses selected for these studies should represent a diversity of viral physicochemical properties, and the clearance methods applied should include orthogonal mechanisms such as clearance based on size alongside chemical inactivation. Virus filtration is a critical unit operation used in numerous purification processes of monoclonal antibodies (MAbs), recombinant proteins,…

Emerging Analytical Technologies for Biotherapeutics Development

A major goal of pharmaceutical development is to characterize pathways of chemical and physical instability and then to develop strategies to minimize them. Deamidation and oxidation are examples of the former, aggregation a result of the latter. The potential for the presence of multiple variants in protein-based pharmaceuticals highlights a need for analytical methods capable of reliably and accurately identifying and measuring those variants. The ideal analytical method would be sensitive, accurate, linear over a broad range, resistant to sample-matrix…

Secrets to a Successful Validation Project

Three major elements comprise validation projects in the biopharmaceutical industry: cost, schedule, and quality. If you can work within a budget, complete activities on time, and maintain regulatory-compliant documentation, then you significantly increase your chances for a successful validation project. Here we suggest ways you can improve these essential measurements with the help of a third-party validation team to achieve favorable outcomes. Team Selection The first key is building a validation team. Cohesion is critical for successful project management. All…

Integrity Testing Low-Area Filters Using Air–Water Diffusion and an Automatic Integrity Tester

Both FDA and EMEA guidelines require integrity testing of filters used in processing sterile solutions such as large- and small-volume parenterals (LVPs and SVPs). The same regulatory agencies also require that corresponding test documentation be included with batch product records. PRODUCT FOCUS: PARENTERALSPROCESS FOCUS: DOWNSTREAM PROCESSING, SCALE-UPWHO SHOULD READ: QA/QC, PROCESS ENGINEERS, AND ANALYTICAL PERSONNELKEYWORDS: FILTRATION, INTEGRITY TESTING, VALIDATION, AUTOMATIONLEVEL: BASIC The function of integrity testing is to determine whether a particular filter is within or outside the validated specifications…