Upstream Development

Quality By Design for Monoclonal Antibodies, Part 1: Establishing the Foundations for Process Development

The quality by design (QbD) modernized approach to pharmaceutical development is intended to provide regulatory flexibility, increased development and manufacturing efficiency, and greater room to innovate as well as improve manufacturing processes within defined ranges without obtaining regulatory approval first. QbD is a systematic developmental approach that starts with a clear goal in mind and emphasizes understanding of how variability in both process and materials affects a final product (1). Historically, product quality has been assured either with end-product testing…

Special Report on Continuous Bioprocessing: Upstream, Downstream, Ready for Prime Time?

Once an engineering curiosity and smallscale laboratory technique, continuous bioprocessing has evolved in just a few short years to a topic of intense and increasing interest to most bioprocessors. Critics point to a steep learning/adoption curve, but that is nothing new in biomanufacturing.Andrew Zydney is a distinguished professor of chemical engineering at Pennsylvania State University. He has noted these challenges facing continuous processing: commercially unproven unit operations (especially downstream), a lack of equipment robustness, sterility concerns, and uncertain development timelines…

Orbital Shaking and Acoustic-Resonance Mixing: Comparing Culture Characteristics

Production of recombinant proteins usually happens in suspension cultures, with oxygen limitation playing a major role. Oxygen and nutrition feeds are of great significance to aerobic suspension cultures. Oxygen is often the controlling factor in orbital shaken systems because oxygen transfer occurs only through diffusion, which is limited by gas-exchange surface and mixing characteristics. Here, we compare growth characteristics of microbial cultures in a standard shaken incubator with those of cultures in a RAMbio fermentation system, paying particular attention to…

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…

Multivariate Analysis of Biological Additives for Growth Media and Feeds

Biological additives such as yeast extracts and peptones are commonly used in growth-media formulations for biopharmaceutical manufacturing. In spite of drivers encouraging companies to reduce variability in mammalian cell culture processes by using chemically defined media, many microbial and mammalian processes continue to use biological additives in their growth-medium formulations and/or feeds. According to Sheffield Bioscience (Kerry, Inc.), at least six of the top 10 licensed mammalian-cell– derived biotherapeutic products are manufactured using biological additives (1). During process development, it…

Process- and Product-Relate Impurities: Part 1 – Process-Related Impurities An Overview

Introduction by Cheryl Scott The CMC Strategy Forums focus on relevant chemistry, manufacturing, and controls (CMC) issues throughout the life cycle of a therapeutic and thereby foster collaborative technical and regulatory interaction. Forum chairs share information with regulatory agencies to help them merge good scientific and regulatory practices. Outcomes of forum meetings are published in BioProcess International and on the CASSS website (www.casss.org). This process is meant to help ensure that biopharmaceutical products manufactured with advancing technologies in a regulated…

The Case for a Standardized Assay to Test Suitability of Single-Use Systems in Cell Culture Applications

Increased commercial use of single-use systems (SUS) for large-scale biopharmaceutical production creates the need for consensus on industry best practices and standards for materials in SUS components. End users and suppliers are beginning to develop a shared vision of industry needs in such areas (1, 2). For example, highly visible efforts to harmonize extractables testing include contributions from groups such as the BioPhorum Operations Group (BPOG), Bio-Process Systems Alliance (BPSA), Parenteral Drug Association (PDA), ASTM, and ISPE. In addition to…

Development, Qualification, and Application of a Bioreactor Scale-Down Process: Modeling Large-Scale Microcarrier Perfusion Cell Culture

Qualified scale-down models of large-scale cell culture processes are essential to conducting studies for applications such as investigating manufacturing deviations, enhancing process understanding, and improving process robustness. For example, scale-down models can be used for raw material investigations as well as evaluation and qualification of new good manufacturing practice (GMP) cell banks for manufacturing implementation. Process characterization studies are performed also with qualified scale-down models to improve process consistency (1, 2). Often it is impractical to conduct investigational studies at…

Experiences with a Benchtop-Scale Glass Bioreactor: Engineering Data and Cultivation Results

Animal cell lines (the dominant expression systems in biopharmaceutical production processes) are mostly cultivated in stirred bioreactors (1). Although such bioreactors are widely accepted and applicable over a wide range of scales, engineering data for these systems are still lacking. Nevertheless, studies have shown that the correct choice of key parameters (e.g., power input, tip speed, mixing time, and oxygen mass transfer) can influence the growth of animal cell cultures (2). Therefore, detailed characterization is essential. It enables reliable scaling…

Special Report: Turning Discoveries into Products — Developability Assessments and Highly Efficient Process Design

High costs and long timelines for biopharmaceutical development are cause for reflecting on how best to allocate resources from the earliest discovery stage through critical go–no-go junctures. With inputs ranging from science, engineering, and economics, the coined term developability becomes the synthesis of answers to such questions as How well does the target represent a disease state? Does manipulating that state bring about improvement? Does the molecule behave as expected in living systems? What can be done about the emergence of independent safety, toxicology, and/or immunogenicity warning signs? Can the molecule…