Facility Design/Engineering

A Decade of Biomanufacturing

    The biopharmaceutical industry is emerging from four years of economic challenge in a very healthy state. Process improvements over the past decade have played a major role in keeping the industry healthy. Earlier this decade, most companies were more concerned about quickly getting their drug products to market than about strategically controlling costs of operations. But according to my group’s recent study, this has changed in most areas of manufacturing. In fact, although this year companies reported overall…

Implementing a Fully Disposable MAb Manufacturing Facility

    Biopharmaceutical contract services have seen some very important changes and growth in recent years, part of an increasing trend toward outsourcing by pharmaceutical companies both large and small. And we have seen a significant change in the types of services demanded by clients. In addition to typical services such as validation, analytical services, and training, for example, demand has increased for outsourcing of process development, mammalian cell culture, good manufacturing practice (GMP) production, and final formulation and filling.…

Sustainabilty Is Good for Business

James Cerruti is senior partner of strategy and research for Brandlogic, a full-service brand consultancy that published in June its 2011 Sustainability Leadership Report: Measuring Perception vs. Reality in partnership with CRD Analytics. The report measured actual and perceived performance of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors for 100 major corporations. The report is based on a survey of key audiences who are considered to be “highly attentive” to ESG issues: investment professionals, purchasing and supply chain managers, and graduating…

Ensuring Aseptic Processing Through Quality By Design

Assurance of sterility throughout drug manufacturing is paramount to patient safety. Drug products must be free of contamination from microbes, particulates, and chemicals. To that end, we see continued and increased regulatory scrutiny, with adoption of US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and European Medicines Agency (EMA) standards outside the United States and the European Union. To consistently make microbe-free products, drug manufacturers must implement robust, validated processes that include sterilizing filtration. Sterilizing-grade filtration is used in a number of…

Characterization and Performance of the Mobius® CellReady 200 L Bioreactor System: The next Generation of Single-Use Bioreactors

Successful bioprocessing relies on the ability to accurately and effectively monitor and control critical process parameters. The Mobius® CellReady 200 L single-use bioreactor is uniquely designed with the novel Mobius® Mobius® SensorReady technology, an external loop that enables configurable, flexible and functional monitoring and control. Bioreactor characterization properties such as mixing time, volumetric mass transfer capabilities, temperature mapping and power input define the process design space wherein accurate and effective monitoring and control can occur. Each of the aforementioned characterization…

Sustainability in Bioprocessing

    The concept of sustainability has evolved over the past few decades to describe conditions for harmonious coexistence of industry and nature while meeting socioeconomic requirements of present and future generations. For this environmentally focused report, I like the simple definition offered by Armstrong International, a provider of steam, air, and hot water systems that improve utility performance, lower energy consumption, and reduce environmental emissions. According to a brochure that in part describes its work with Pfizer, Armstrong defines…

Therapies of Tomorrow Require More Than Factories from the Past

Live cells are being incorporated as active agents and delivery vehicles for a broad range of emerging therapeutic strategies. Successful commercialization of a cell therapy requires more than proving its safety and efficacy to regulators. Ultimately a therapy must be commercially viable, allowing enough patients to be treated with an adequate financial margin to justify investment in it as a product. “Whether the cells used are universal (allogeneic) or patient-specific (autologous), it is unlikely to be wholly one or the…

The Human Factor in Facility Design Innovation

Bioprocess and pharmaceutical production environments must be well designed to meet strict cleanroom and quality assurance (QA) standards and productivity requirements. Managers may also consider innovative ways to enhance the design of these environments to enable the people critical to their companies’ success to be more productive and effective. In today’s work culture, countless hours can be lost to poor teamwork and ineffective communication. CGMP environments present additional, unique challenges to human interaction because of their built-in process and protocol…

The Dinosaurs Reborn: Evaluating Stainless Steel and Disposables in Large-Scale Biomanufacturing

    Although a number of biomanufacturers have adopted disposable technologies for small-scale process design, there has been considerable debate over the role of single-use systems in large-scale biopharmaceutical manufacturing— particularly in retrofitting facilities. Some experts have gone so far as to suggest that large-scale stainless steel fermentors are “dinosaurs,” with their large capacities, long installation lead times, and low flexibility. I advocate a systematic approach to look holistically at possible retrofit technologies in existing (stainless steel) facilities, with particular…

Single-Use Systems As Principal Components in Bioproduction

    Single-use systems (SUS) have become an accepted component of animal-cell–based bioproduction. No longer a merely exciting possibility, they have emerged as a significant and growing resource for companies to use from process development to manufacturing of approved products. Having been examined for years in less regulated environments, off-the-shelf SUS are now in regular use to some extent in nearly every segment of the production train by contract manufacturing organizations (CMOs) and biopharmaceutical companies in mid-scale production applications. For…