QA/QC

Responding to Life Sciences Manufacturing Industry Guidance

Increasingly, life science manufacturing companies are applying technology to meet quality by design (QbD) goals. Organizations collect overflowing volumes of process data as part of programs designed to improve manufacturing variability and outcomes. Collecting valuable data is now an everyday task thanks to available software and process analytical technology (PAT) tools. The industry today, in fact, has focused so much on gathering data that it often has lost sight of an important fact: Data collection systems are valuable only if…

Quality Risk Assessment and Management Strategies for Biopharmaceutical Companies

You’ve probably been hearing a lot about risk assessment in recent months. Indeed, some 15 times more articles have been printed referencing the concept over the past year relative to a 12-month period just three years ago. That truly represents a geometric progression. Unfortunately, very few authors have been able to disambiguate the different methods or provide insight into this time-tested, multiple-industry philosophy that at its core uses good science to make better decisions. When we undertake the challenge to…

Process Improvements Increase Production Capacity of a Legacy Product

Implementation of postlicensure process improvements in the biopharmaceutical industry can benefit patients and drug manufacturers alike. Here we demonstrate through a case study how a change to the cell culture medium and process can be taken from proof of concept through scale-up to demonstration of feasibility. We further illustrate the scope and complexity of implementing a change in commercial manufacturing to realize significant benefits such as increased production capacity over an existing legacy process. The Importance of Postapproval Improvements Drug…

Effects of Pressure Sensor Calibration Offset on Filter Integrity Test Values

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and European good manufacturing practices (GMPs) require integrity testing of sterilizing-grade filters for producing injectables and other biologics. The diffusion test (also called the forward-flow test) and bubble-point test (also called the disk test) of a sterilizing-grade filter are both filter-integrity tests. The accuracy of both relies on calibration of a pressure sensor in the respective integrity test unit. Calibration of the pressure sensor of a filter-integrity testing device is an essential part of quality…

New Paradigms for Process Validation

    Both the United States and the European Union have recently evolved guidance on how to execute process validation (1, 2) with the prospect of a more appropriate life-cycle approach. It goes beyond the traditional three to five lots run at the center point of proposed ranges for operating parameters. New approaches leverage product design and process development information. They facilitate adapting the quality by design (QbD) paradigm to allow for a science- and risk-based selection of critical process…

NIR Spectroscopy for Process Monitoring and Control in Mammalian Cell Cultivation

The quality by design (QbD) and process analytical technology (PAT) approaches have shown significant benefit in the classical pharmaceutical industry and are now strongly influencing bioprocessing. Monitoring critical process parameters (CPPs) during biotechnological cell cultivations is essential to maintaining high efficiencies and quality. Commercial sensor systems for real-time inline monitoring are available for some parameters, such as pH or the concentration of dissolved oxygen (DO). For others such as glucose concentration, total cell count (TCC), and viability no robust online…

Enhanced 2-D Electrophoresis and Western Blotting Workflow for Reliable Evaluations of Anti-HCP Antibodies

Biologic drugs are subject to unique regulatory and technical requirements because of their origin and expression in genetically engineered host cells, as well as their underlying physicochemical properties and elaborate purification processes. One such requirement is the accurate monitoring and effective removal of process-derived impurities such as host-cell proteins (HCPs) and DNA/RNA, viruses, cell culture media, chromatographic leachates, and so on (1). Of those impurities, HCPs are perhaps the most challenging to accurately monitor. Each expression system’s proteome consists of…

Drug Products for Biological Medicines

The California Separation Science Society (CASSS) held a Chemistry, Manufacturing, and Controls (CMC) Strategy Forum on drug products for biological medicines in July 2012 in Bethesda, MD. Topics included novel delivery devices, challenging formulations, and combination products. This CMC Strategy Forum aimed to promote an understanding of how best to increase the speed and effectiveness of drug product and device development for both large and small companies. Participants focused on areas that improve the likelihood for regulatory success, reduce risk,…

Comparability Protocols for Biotechnological Products

Comparability has become a routine exercise throughout the life cycle of biotechnological products. According to ICH Q5E, a comparability exercise should provide analytical evidence that a product has highly similar quality attributes before and after manufacturing process changes, with no adverse impact on safety or efficacy, including immunogenicity (1). Any doubt about data from such studies could translate into unforeseen pharmacological or nonclinical studies — or worse, clinical studies. Selection of analytical methods and acceptance criteria that will be applied…

Biological Assay Qualification Using Design of Experiments

In 2012, the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) published a complementary set of three guidance documents on the development, analysis, and validation of biological assays (1,2,3). USP chapter recommends a novel, systematic approach for bioassay validation using design of experiments (DoE) that incorporates robustness of critical parameters (2). Use of DoE to establish robustness has been reported (4,–5), but to our knowledge its use in qualification or validation protocols for assessing assay accuracy, precision, and linearity is not described in literature.…