Facility Design/Engineering

Integrated Optical Single-Use Sensors: Moving Toward a True Single-Use Factory for Biologics and Vaccine Production

Through the past decade, single-use bioreactors for culturing mammalian and insect cells have been widely adopted in preclinical, clinical, and production-scale biopharmaceutical facilities (1, 2). With such bioreactors in operation, monitoring and control of process parameters is vital for ensuring critical quality attributes (CQAs) of biologicals or vaccines are met for production of a safe product. Traditionally, bag-based and bench-top vessels have been fitted with conventional pH and dissolved oxygen (DO) probes similar to those used in stainless steel or…

Biopharma Unhappy with Suppliers’ Progress on Single-Use Hookups

Single-use equipment vendors are failing to meet their biomanufacturing customers’ expectations in several key areas, according to BioPlan Associates’ 11th Annual Report and Survey of Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing Capacity and Production (1). The study — based on a global survey of 238 global biomanufacturers and contract manufacturing organizations, as well as 158 vendors and suppliers in 30 countries — identifies significant gaps between the perceived importance of key vendor attributes and companies’ satisfaction with their vendors regarding those attributes. One area…

Process Challenges of Antibody–Drug Conjugates

With two products now on the market, and a host of others in clinical trials, antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) are slowly becoming a big business. Designed to deliver extremely active cytotoxic drugs that are otherwise undosable, they take advantage of the targeting ability of a specifically designed monoclonal antibody (MAb) to “shield” a highly potent API (HPAPI) as it travels through a patient’s bloodstream after administration. Once the antibody reaches its target on the cancer cell, it will release the payload,…

Thinking Strategically

At the recent Phacilitate Gene and Cell Therapy Conference (27–29 January 2014 in Washington, DC), BPI’s editor in chief Anne Montgomery and publisher Brian Caine spoke with Richard Grant, executive vice president, life sciences, at Invetech (www.invetech.com.au); and Brian Hanrahan, program manager at Invetech. They and their colleagues were instrumental in advising us how to bring ongoing discussions of regenerative medicines into BPI four years ago for the first Cell Therapy Supplement issue. We asked them to comment generally on…

Single-Use, Continuous Processing of Primary Stem Cells

Many potentially therapeutic products involve the culture of stem cells. Their commercial success depends on the development of scalable good manufacturing practice (GMP) technologies that can both robustly and cost-effectively produce very large numbers of cells. Through many improvements and innovations in bioprocessing operations over the years, fed-batch suspension culture has remained the most common mode for large-scale biopharmaceutical manufacturing. However, some recent events suggest that may be changing (1,2). For the culture and expansion of stem cells, large-format adherent…

Bioprocess Advances Drive Vaccine Manufacturing in Developing Countries

Advances in bioprocessing technology hardware and genetic engineering are expanding the geographic options for biologics manufacturing to include developing and emerging economies. Such advances are beginning to permit biopharmaceutical production in regions that previously lacked the technical expertise or quality processes to permit complex operations, monitoring, record-keeping, and oversight. Global demand by countries for in-country production of biological vaccines is increasing, so those products tend to be leading the way in terms of adoption of modern bioprocessing in developing countries.…

Evolving Biologics Demand Spurs New Facility Needs

In the era of biologics manufacturing, chemical medicine production facilities are becoming the dinosaurs of the life sciences sector. Traditional chemical facility development and management systems are simply unequipped to support the highly sensitive — and highly regulated — process of developing and producing biological and biosimilar medicines. Renovating or building such facilities anew is a mammoth undertaking by any measure. All signs point to the value of evolving facility design and management to house more sophisticated biologic laboratory services.…

Optimizing for the Future

The 2013 biennial meeting of the European Society for Animal Cell Technology (ESACT) was in Lille, France this past June. While there, BPI editorial advisor Miriam Monge (vice president of Biopharm Services Ltd.) interviewed ESACT executive committee member Hitto Kaufmann, PhD (vice president of biopharmaceutical process sciences for Boehringer Ingelheim). They talked about some scientific developments being discussed at this year’s ESACT conference as well as Boehringer Ingelheim’s recent announcement about setting up in China and Kaufmann’s own thoughts on…

Outsourcing Facility Safety for Biomanufacturing

As the life-science industry increasingly outsources noncore functions, some companies are finding that managing the expanding web of safety and environmental requirements associated with various functions is, in turn, growing vastly more complex. As multiple third parties handle numerous noncore activities, the risk — and headaches — of monitoring them effectively is a growing challenge by any standard. At first glance, the lowest-risk solution for many organizations may seem to be managing associated safety programs with in-house personnel and programs.…

Cost-Effectiveness and Robustness Evaluation for Biomanufacturing

As the biotech sector has matured, it has come under increasing economic and regulatory pressures for continuous improvement in both drug development and manufacturing. As a result, assessing the value potential of alternative strategies has become critical to decision-making in areas such as bioprocess and facility design, capacity sourcing, and portfolio selection. Related decisions typically involve large cash expenditures and thus have a direct bearing on the feasibility of business units and whole companies. Figure 1:  () Making such decisions…