Upstream Development

Innovation in Biopharmaceutical Manufacture

The following is a report from a workshop on innovation in biopharmaceutical manufacturing held at the Annual bioProcessUK Conference in Bristol on 29 November 2012. The aim of the workshop was to access the experience of practitioners in the United Kingdom so as to understand better the challenges and opportunities for innovation in this sector. The workshop addressed the drivers that influence the implementation of process improvements and novel technologies in biopharmaceutical manufacture from the perspective of both manufacturers and…

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…

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…

T-Cell Suspension Culture in a 24-Well Microbioreactor

Cell therapy promises revolutionary new therapeutic treatments for cancer and other serious diseases and injuries. For example, T-cell therapy response rates of >50% and durable complete response rates of 20% have been reported in patients with metastatic melanoma who had failed other therapies (1). In another example, sustained remissions of up to a year were achieved among a small group of advanced chronic lymphocytic leukemia patients upon treatment with autologous T-cells expressing an anti-CD19 chimeric antigen receptor (2). Numerous other…

Advances in Sensor Technology Improve Biopharmaceutical Development

Today’s biomanufacturing operations require constant management of biopharmaceutical process attributes throughout process development and production. Continuous online measurements of pH, dissolved oxygen (DO), oxidation–reduction potential (ORP), and conductivity (Figure 1) allow real-time industrial process monitoring and adjustment. These functions are crucial to process improvement studies and accurate, reliable manufacturing of high-quality products. Figure 1: () “In the pharmaceutical industry, it is extremely valuable to see how an attribute changes with time and correlate that change with parts of the process,”…

Liquid or Powdered Media?

For decades, innovations in research and production techniques have been driving forces in the biopharmaceutical industry. But market conditions fueled by the economic downturn over the past five years have increased regulatory burdens in the United States and Europe. Rising costs and risks associated with new drug development now require that biopharmaceutical companies manufacture their products more quickly and cost-effectively than ever before. To this end, companies are looking for new ways to reduce expenditures, increase profitability, speed research, enhance…

A Statistical Approach to Expanding Production Capacity

Contract manufacturer DSM Biologics — at its current good manufacturing practices (CGMP) facility in Groningen, The Netherlands — provides services for clinical development and commercial production based on mammalian cell culture technology (Photo 1). During the 2011–2012 year, the facility went through a major expansion project to enlarge its capacity and fulfill a growing customer demand. From a business point of view, the project had a well-defined target for future production capacity as well as investment volume. Photo 1: Photo…

Protein Scaffolds

The recent success of monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) as therapeutic agents to treat cancer, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and other chronic inflammatory and autoimmune disorders (Table 1) has catapulted these once difficult-to-develop molecules to the forefront of modern molecular medicine (1, 2). The size of the global MAb market in 2008 was valued at almost US$28 billion. Industry analysts predict that the size of the MAb market will grow to almost $68 billion by 2015, with the largest growth occurring in…

Analysis of Bacterial Biomass Growth and Metabolite Accumulation

Mathematical modeling has been widely used in microbiology and biotechnology for several decades. The main objective of modeling is to find optimal conditions for microbial growth and biosynthesis of useful metabolites. We modified the well-known equation of Perth–Marr (1) — proposed to calculate the energy consumption of a substrate— to analyze the energy consumption by cells for growth and viability maintenance. Our study includes that theory along with our own development. Our initial modeling work was carried out with Yersinia,…

Process Optimization of Biosimilars Production Using NMR Profiling

With a compound annual growth rate potential of ∼52% during 2010–2015 (1), the global biosimilars market represents a significant driver in biologics development and manufacture. Increased competition, quality-by-design (QbD) directives, and rising costs are compelling biosimilars manufacturers to search for advanced technologies they can use in optimizing production processes to remain competitive and maximize new opportunities. Here, we discuss biomanufacturers’ needs for robust, standardized cell-culturing procedures that comply with QbD directives. We also describe an effective new NMR-based bioanalysis technology.…