Pre-Formulation

Key Aspects of Enzyme Activity and Steady-State Kinetics

Living systems rely on enzymes to perform many essential functions for survival. One prime example is digestion, the conversion of food into energy. Each enzyme possesses specific requirements for the types of molecules that it can use as substrates or reactants to convert to products. Here, I provide some basic information about enzymes, explain their biochemical parameters (e.g., kinetic parameters) and significance for characterization, and review related assays currently available to the bioprocess industry. Lactose intolerance is a common enzyme…

Ongoing Challenges of Applying QbD to Biopharmaceutical Products

Quality by design (QbD) was a hot topic at IBC’s BioProcess International Conference and Exhibition, 20–24 September 2010 (Providence, RI). For her keynote address, Helen Winkle (director of the FDA’s Office of Pharmaceutical Science) discussed the agency’s continuing efforts to improve product quality regulation as well as opportunities and challenges of implementing QbD for biotechnology products (1). Since introducing its 21st Century Initiative in 2002, the FDA has made some headway toward enhancing product quality through QbD (2). The QbD…

PEGylating Peptides (and Proteins)

Peptides should be promising drug candidates. But their small size makes delivery difficult and gives them an extremely short in vivo half-life. They are often cleared by the kidneys or reticuloendothelial system only minutes after being administered, and they are susceptible to degradation by proteolytic enzymes. These problems could be solved by linking them to polyethylene glycol (PEG). Repeating chains of ethylene oxide (CH2CH2O), PEG molecules can be long or short and straight or branched. PEG groups are linked to…

I’m Losing Cell Viability and Function at Different Points in My Process, and I Don’t Know Why!

    Development of cell and tissue therapies presents bottlenecks in manufacturing process development and scale-up as commercial and academic groups move from small-scale research and development (R&D) to more complex logistics. Often, the simplicity of maintaining cell yield, viability, and function in a laboratory setting cannot be replicated when source tissue and final therapeutic products are subjected to the extended distances and times of actual clinical delivery. These bottleneck issues have a number of causes. One specific and common…

A Formulation Strategy for Quickly Reaching Clinical Trials

The aim of any company making protein-based therapeutics is to get to the clinic quickly with a product formulation that has the best chance of success. Any number of specific formulation development and manufacturing issues can keep such drugs from advancing expeditiously to the clinic. To be successful organizations must balance the strengths and weaknesses of each individual molecule against timelines, budgets, and priorities. Ultimately, it’s not just about deploying the best methodologies and processes, but of applying them appropriately…

Large-Scale Freezing of Biologics

Production of biologics is expensive. To optimize capacity use, bulk protein solution produced in manufacturing campaigns is often converted into drug product based on market demand, so it may be stored for relatively long periods. To decouple production of bulk solution from that of a final drug product, the bulk is often stored frozen. Transport of frozen bulk between sites offers several practical advantages over bulk transport in the liquid state (2–8 °C). Maintaining 2–8 °C requires accurate systems control…

Large-Scale Freezing of Biologics

Production of biologics is an expensive process, and to optimize capacity use, bulk protein solution is often produced in manufacturing campaigns. It is converted into drug product based on market demand and therefore may have to be stored for relatively long periods. To decouple the bulk solution production from that of the final drug product, bulk is often stored frozen. Transport of frozen bulk product between sites offers several practical advantages over its transport in the liquid state (2–8 °C).…

A Practical Method for Resolving the Nucleation Problem in Lyophilization

Given the prevalence of lyophilization and the growing pipeline of sensitive biological drugs requiring stabilization, pharmaceutical development and manufacturing personnel need complete, reproducible control over the operation, scale-up, and transfer of their lyophilization processes. To address the nucleation problem, Praxair has developed a step-change technology that adds consistent control to the freezing step of lyophilization. This low-capital, plug-and-play option can be readily implemented on most existing freeze-dryers with minor equipment additions and controls integration. Adoption of the technology requires no…

Applying Intelligent Flow Microscopy to Biotechnology

Ongoing requirements for additional insight and CGMP-compliant measurement have led to interest in new technologies that can be applied to the analysis of many different types of particle-containing fluids. Micro-Flow imaging (MFI) is a robust, versatile, and intelligent vision technology that is increasingly used for evaluating populations of microparticles encountered during bioformulation development (1). It is also being accepted in fill–finish processes and many other biotechnology applications. Features of MFI technology that have contributed to its rising popularity include the…

Novel Excipients Prevent Aggregation in Manufacturing and Formulation of Protein and Peptide Therapeutics

Protein and peptide therapeutics may undergo numerous physical and chemical changes during manufacturing, shipping, storage, and administration that can adversely alter drug potency and safety. Earlier concerns focused upon denaturation (unfolding), oxidation, and deamidation of certain key aminoacyl residues. Recently, aggregation has emerged as a key issue underlying multiple deleterious effects for peptide- or protein-based therapeutics, including loss of efficacy, altered pharmacokinetics, reduced stability and product shelf life, and induction of unwanted immunogenicity. As a result, the US FDA and…