Leachables/Extractables/Particulates

Particulate Contamination in Single-Use Systems: Challenges of Detection, Measurement, and Continuous Improvement

Patients receiving particulate contamination through parenteral delivery of biopharmaceuticals presents a significant potential health risk. However, the severity of that risk often is unclear. It depends on the route of administration, dosage volume administered, particle properties and amount received, and the ultimate fate of particles within a patient’s body (1). The appearance of particulate contamination also can be a visible indicator of product quality. Consequently, when such contamination is discovered within biopharmaceutical manufacturing operations, often it triggers costly investigations and…

Extractables and Leachables: Standardizing Approaches to Manage the Risk

The implementation, maturation, and benefits of single-use technologies in biopharmaceutical development and manufacturing are well documented and understood. As analytical methods and testing services also rapidly improve, it is clear that management of risk associated with extractables and leachables also must evolve. Standardization is universally accepted as a goal; how to define, implement, and educate the industry is where debate resides. The container–closure segment has had more experience dealing with leachables and extractables than those implementing single-use process components do…

Bioprocessing Standards for Single-Use Components Are Moving Forward

With the escalating use of single-use technology in bioprocessing, suppliers have had to rapidly develop disposable components such as fittings, tubing, pumps, sensors, and flexible containers for bioprocessing. Single-use technology is growing so fast that the organizations tasked with guiding its growth are having difficulty keeping up. Contributing to this problem are factors such as company needs, regulatory requirements, market pressures, and costs. That growth has posed considerable concerns for the bioprocessing industry about the presence of organic and inorganic…

Evaluating New Film for Single-Use Bags: Growth Performance Studies with Animal and Human Cells

In biopharmaceutical development and manufacturing processes, single-use technology has become widely accepted (1). Storage and cultivation bags are particularly common. They are fabricated from plastics consisting of multilayer films and are typically provided gamma-sterilized by suppliers (2). The bags offer several advantages such as savings in time and cost. Lowered contamination risk results from reduced cleaning and sterilization demands. However, some adverse effects of polymer films on cell growth and metabolism have been reported, both for storage and cultivation bags…

Quantitative Risk Assessment of Bioaccumulation Attributable to Extractables and Leachables in Cellular Immunotherapy Biomanufacturing

Precious patient samples, contamination concerns, and limited product purification options have compelled manufacturers of cellular immunotherapies (iTx) such as chimeric antigen receptor T cells (CAR-T) and T-cell receptor (TCR) technologies toward the disposables industry. Such companies are implementing single-use technologies (SUTs) almost exclusively (1). But despite the dominance of disposable bioprocess platforms and their extraordinary growth in the iTx marketplace, researchers have made limited efforts to understand the perennial and critical bioprocessing risks of leachables and extractables. Here we outline…

Compatibility Assessment of a Model Monoclonal Antibody Formulation in Glass and Blow–Fill–Seal Plastic Vials

PREPRINT October 2015 issue Blow–fill–seal (BFS) technology has been recognized by the industry as an advanced aseptic solution (1–3). Catalent Pharma Solutions has been commercially supplying sterile BFS products to the pharmaceutical industry for decades, primarily in the respiratory and topical ophthalmic markets. Such product formulations range from simple solutions to emulsions with drug substances from classical small molecules to large complex proteins such as biologics. The company also has optimized BFS processes and its Advasept plastic container system for…

Toward Industry Standardization of Extractables Testing for Single-Use Systems: A Collective BPSA Perspective

Here we present a consensus position of the membership of the Bio-Process Systems Alliance (BPSA), the trade organization for the single-use industry based in Washington, DC. BPSA’s membership includes 48 corporate and institutional entities, among them component suppliers, systems integrators, end users, and independent testing laboratories. Consensus within this membership is reached through an official ballot of representative voting members, as provided for in the organization’s by-laws. The position outlined below was approved by such an internal consensus-balloting process. Building…

Extractables Profiles: A Comprehensive Approach Produces Long-Term Results

Biopharmaceutical manufacturers spend years developing and testing new drug and biologic products to ensure their efficacy, safety, and usability for patients. Such knowledge is extremely valuable, but those same principles often get overlooked in selection of packaging and delivery systems. Decisions on packaging and delivery often are made almost as an afterthought. However, issues related to components such as extractables and leachables can affect patient safety and product quality. In addition, a lack of extractables and leachables data in filings…

Simulating Seal Life with Finite-Element Analysis

Finite-element modeling is an attractive alternative to physical testing for predicting seal life, particularly when aging poses major concerns and seal replacement is expensive. For years, seal manufacturers and users alike have searched for a reliable method for predicting how long seals will last in service. Past methods for evaluating an elastomer’s potential as a static or dynamic seal use American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) or other standard immersion tests. These tests involve submerging a material in a…

Evaluating Freeze–Thaw Processes in Biopharmaceutical Development – Small-Scale Study Designs

Regulations mandate that biopharmaceutical product quality be controlled throughout manufacturing, storage, transportation, and delivery to patients (1). Operations often include freezing and thawing of a bulk drug substance, dilution of that purified substance to a target concentration, filtration, filling into a selected container–closure system, additional processing (e.g., lyophilization), inspection, packaging, storage, transport, and delivery (2). Freezing is a common processing step used to maintain stability and quality of a drug substance during development and production of biopharmaceutical products. It is…