Upstream Validation

Robustness of Parvovirus–Retentive Membranes and Implications for Virus Clearance Validation Requirements

    Generic validation is conceivable only through a thorough understanding of the parameters affecting the performance of a process step. In this paper, we provide a detailed example demonstrating the robustness of a virus filtration step. As a first step towards the establishment of a generic validation package for a monoclonal antibody, the robustness of clearance of PP7 across the ViroSart CPV filter was evaluated by changing several critical operational parameters using a simple one-off experimental design. Two different…

Managing the Analytical Life-Cycle for Biotechnology Products

The analytical program for a given biotherapeutic has a life-cycle analogous to that of a manufacturing process used to prepare material for clinical and commercial use. This two-part article discusses analytical activities associated with the progression of biotherapeutic candidates from the early stages of clinical development through their appearance as licensed drugs on the market. In Part One, we examined the stages of the analytical life-cycle. Here we conclude by going into more detail on challenges associated with method qualification,…

Biotech Facilities Average a Batch Failure Every 40.6 Weeks

Gathering information about batch failure rates in the biopharmaceutical industry is about as easy as getting politicians to talk about their most embarrassing gaffes and indiscretions. Although it comes as no surprise that batches do fail, some readers may be surprised at how relatively well many organizations appear to be performing. Based on the results of our recently released annual report and survey (1), facilities are experiencing batch failures at an average rate of about one every nine months (40.6…

Managing the Analytical Lifecycle for Biotechnology Products

Biotechnology pipelines have demonstrated significant growth over the past decade, with many therapeutic candidates evolving in a single class of protein molecules: the monoclonal antibodies (MAbs). To develop such therapeutic candidates, a scalable drug development process must leverage in-house and industry-wide knowledge so biotechnology companies can address the economic and medical needs of 21st-century medicine. Biotherapeutics development is complex, resource intensive, and time consuming, taking some 10 years of effort to go from target validation to commercialization. This reality, coupled…

Reducing Microbial Contamination Risk in Biotherapeutic Manufacturing

The risk of contamination (especially microbiological) is always an area for special attention in biopharmaceutical processes. No matter the process stage, whether upstream of a bioreactor or in the final filling of a sterile product, effective contamination control continues to be a critical requirement, so any opportunities for improvement may justify further investigation. Even with established validated processes, demands for higher purity and increased sterility assurance may require manufacturers to reassess their procedures and technologies. New processes present an even…

Expression of a Fab Fragment in CHO and Pichia pastoris

Mammalian cell expression systems are currently essential for production of glycosylated biopharmaceuticals such as monoclonal antibodies or molecules requiring even more complex glycan structures. Various host cell and vector systems aimed at improving expression levels and quality have been established (1, 2). Development of biopharmaceutical product candidates from genes to clinical trials should be based on technology platforms that will require no major changes in the entire development chain, including manufacturing once a product candidate has successfully progressed through phase…

Guide to Irradiation and Sterilization Validation of Single-Use Bioprocess Systems

Single-use bioprocess manufacturing systems increasingly are being implemented by the biopharmaceutical industry based on safety, time, and cost-reduction benefits. These disposable systems are used to process or contain fluids ranging from culture media, additives, and buffers, to bulk intermediates and final formulations. In many cases microbial control or sterility is required to ensure product purity and safety. Radiation sterilization is a common means of microbial control and sterilization applied to single-use systems. The standard methods for validating radiation sterilization are…

Near-Infrared Spectroscopy for Rapid, Simultaneous Monitoring

The use of cellular physiology to make target molecules has been practiced for centuries, with early examples being the production of wine and beer through yeast fermentation. Single (e.g., bacteria and yeast) and multicellular (plant or animal) organisms can be harnessed to produce otherwise chemically complex, low-yield, or chemically uncharacterized materials. These include “lock-and-key” receptor complexes with perfect stereochemical specificity, large-scale protein scaffolds, or antibiotics. One example is penicillin, with a sensitive β-lactam ring structure at its core (1). Mass-production…

Process Monitoring in Suspension–Adapted CHO Cell Cultures

Suspension-adapted Chinese hamster ovary cell (CHO-S) cultures are widely used in biotechnological production of recombinant proteins. In fact, such special cell lines have become the standard for this type of biopharmaceutical production (1). The reasons for that include their fast reproduction, high protein expression rate compared with other eukaryotic cells and, above all, the glycosylation patterns generated by the cells (2, 3). PRODUCT FOCUS: Animal cell products (recombinant proteins)PROCESS FOCUS: Production and product developmentWHO SHOULD READ: Process and cell culture…