Upstream Development

Rapid Development and Scale-Up of Biosimilar Trastuzumab: A Case Study of Integrated Cell Line and Process Development

Compared with that for new drugs, biosimilar development faces significantly condensed timelines from cell line to first-in-human (FIH) trials. A biosimilar development program needs to accelerate quickly toward preclinical and phase 1 studies; phase 2 studies typically are not required because dose response and other patient-treatment concepts are already established by the original, comparator medicine. Phase 3 studies typically are limited to fewer patients, which ultimately shortens overall timelines and costs. The key challenge remains: demonstrating comparability and high similarity…

Bioreactor Design for Adherent Cell Culture: The Bolt-On Bioreactor Project, Part 2 — Process Automation

  The Bolt-on Bioreactor (BoB) project is an independent initiative to develop and commercialize a bioreactor for automated and efficient culture of adherent cells, especially in production of therapeutic cells and other biopharmaceuticals (1). After conducting thorough research on available culture systems for adherent cells, the BoB team believes that a successful alternative to existing devices must solve four major challenges. Addressed in the first installment of this series (2), the first challenge concerns volumetric productivity. The second challenge is…

A Multidisciplinary Approach to Manufacturing Biotherapeutics

Optimizing antibody manufacturing processes has gone beyond the first-order goal of achieving elevated protein titers and now also focuses on understanding biologic and manufacturing process variables that define cellular machinery and protein quality. A holistic approach to biotherapeutic manufacturing incorporates several applied disciplines such as biology, engineering, process control, signal processing, and modeling to reduce the “black-box” model of cell- based protein production into an operational design space. This is in line with the US Food and Drug Administration’s quality…

30 Years of Upstream Productivity Improvements

We recently completed an analysis of the past 30 years of industry progress in commercial-scale expression titers and bioprocessing yields. These basic measures of biopharmaceutical manufacturing efficiency also benchmark the technological progress made in bioprocessing over recent decades. Titer and yield improvements generally indicate related bioprocessing cost savings, something most commercial-scale manufacturers work to improve. This focus on efficiency and productivity has led to constant bioprocessing improvements even for long-approved and -marketed products. Our findings indicate that although upstream titers…

Bioreactor Design for Adherent Cell Culture — The Bolt-On Bioreactor Project, Part 1: Volumetric Productivity

The Bolt-on Bioreactor (BoB) project is an independent initiative aimed at developing and commercializing a bioreactor for efficient, automated culture of adherent cells in production of therapeutic cells and other biopharmaceuticals (1). After conducting thorough research on available culture systems for adherent cells, the BoB team believes that a successful alternative to existing devices must solve four major challenges. The first challenge has to do with volumetric productivity, the second with process automation, the third with containment and sterility, and…

Accelerated Product Development: Leveraging Industry and Regulator Knowledge to Bring Products to Patients Quickly

A Chemistry, Manufacturing and Controls (CMC) Strategy Forum titled “Accelerated Product Development: Leveraging Combined Industry and Regulator Knowledge to Bring Products to Patients More Quickly” was held in Washington, DC, on 27 January 2014. Biological therapeutics in development are demonstrating remarkable results in the clinic for many indications. So companies are seeking ways to accelerate the approval of these therapies and rapidly bring them to market. Many such products take the form of well-characterized proteins (e.g., IgG1 or IgG2 monoclonal…

Ask the Expert: Accelerating Bioprocess Development Using Shake-Flask Metabolic Activity Data

with Dr. Gernot John of PreSens Precision Sensing GmbH Shake flasks are simple, low-cost devices widely used in screening and media optimization. The most widely measured parameter to determine biomass is optical density (OD). It is typically measured offline because no suitable equipment for broad range biomass measurements in shake flasks has been available. But a new, compact, SFR vario device from PreSens Precision Sensing can be placed under shake flasks to measure four parameters online: pH, O2 saturation, oxygen…

Ask the Expert – Optimizing Cell Culture Media Supplements: Using Design of Experiments for CHO and HEK293 Cells

with Francesc Gòdia (chemical engineering professor at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona) Chemically defined media free of animal-derived components are required for bioprocess operations based on mammalian cells. Supplementation of commercial media with specific compounds was studied using a design of experiments (DoE) approach to screen the most efficient compounds for two cell lines and then determine their optimal conditions. DoE allowed simultaneous testing of several compounds to determine potential interactions among them in addition to their individual effects. Gòdia’s…

Immunoglobulin Fc-Fusion Proteins Part 2: Therapeutic Uses and Clinical Development

The potential therapeutic value of many proteins — including enzymes, receptors, cytokines, blood factors and peptides — can be realized by fusing them to the Fc region of human immunoglobulin G. Of the 46 monoclonal antibody (MAb) and MAb-derivative products approved by the FDA to date as human therapeutics, 10 are Fc-fusion proteins (Table 2). Among approved products, several structural variations are represented (Figure 4). In BPI’s October 2014 issue, Part 1 of this review examined the structure and manufacturing…

Reducing Timelines in Early Process Development – Using a Multiparametric Clone-Selection and Feed-Optimization Strategy

The market for biopharmaceutical products remains highly attractive to small biotechnology companies and big pharmaceutical corporations alike (1). Most leading market products are made using recombinant technology (2). Pressures are continually increasing on process development groups to reduce development costs and timelines for taking new clinical products forward from product research bench scale into initial clinical evaluation studies. For many years a recognized critical bottleneck in development of products from mammalian cell lines was selection and isolation of stable, high-producing…