Fill/Finish

Highly Concentrated Protein Formulations: Finding Solutions for the Next Generation of Parenteral Biologics

Therapeutic protein formulation is no easy task. Biological drugs may be destined for prefilled syringes or glass vials, or they may be made into lyophilized powders that will be reconstituted in a clinical setting. No matter what their final state will be, recombinant proteins must remain potent and efficacious during storage. In recent years, pharmaceutical companies have turned increasingly to high-concentration protein formulations. Such drug formulations can offer patients the convenience of self-injection — instead of a trip to the…

Development of a Single-Use Filling Needle

Single-use components such as tubing, connectors, and filters have been widely used for many decades in bioprocess unit operations. Users have been able to identify and quantify the specific benefits of single-use over cleanable systems. In more recent years, many other process components have been designed for disposability such as bioreactors, mixers, and chromatography and ultrafiltration systems. Those and other advances have made it possible to incorporate multicomponent, presterilized manifolds into both existing and new processes, realizing benefits such as…

Enabling Technologies

    We hear a great deal lately about the maturation of the biopharmaceutical industry — and much advancement over the past decade or so has been in business models, financing, and product pipelines. Meanwhile, regulators around the world have become more well versed in the subject matter and have adjusted their approaches to and expectations from the industry. However, the practical side of developing, characterizing, and manufacturing biotherapeutic products cannot be overlooked — nor its importance overstated. Many technological…

Drug Products for Biological Medicines

The California Separation Science Society (CASSS) held a Chemistry, Manufacturing, and Controls (CMC) Strategy Forum on drug products for biological medicines in July 2012 in Bethesda, MD. Topics included novel delivery devices, challenging formulations, and combination products. This CMC Strategy Forum aimed to promote an understanding of how best to increase the speed and effectiveness of drug product and device development for both large and small companies. Participants focused on areas that improve the likelihood for regulatory success, reduce risk,…

Drug Products for Biological Medicines

Traditionally, the CaSSS CMC Strategy Forum meetings have provided a scientific focus on the development of biotech drug substances and their manufacture and characterization, leaving the development of drug product formulation and filling, understanding primary containers, and considering novel delivery systems somewhat out of scope. Over recent years, however, the importance of investing more science and technology into drug product development has become evident as different product types, higher protein concentrations, and doses and requirements for improved delivery of biological…

Safety, Flexibility, and Efficiency

    International pharmaceutical and biotech companies are demanding solutions for current and future challenges of their industries — solutions that will stand the test of time while offering significant advances over current manufacturing techniques. Modern and highly proficient production lines for commercial manufacturing of parenteral drugs can represent a crucial criterion in the success of these companies. New and innovative high-speed filling lines for prefilled syringes present an excellent opportunity to meet current production demands. Following is an example…

A Decade of Fill–Finish and Packaging Solutions

    In 2003, BPI’s first year of publication, the Food and Drug Administration released a draft of its updated guidelines on aseptic processing. In it, the agency included the statement, “A well-designed positive pressure isolator, supported by adequate procedures for its maintenance, monitoring, and control offers tangible advantages over classical aseptic processing, including fewer opportunities for microbial contamination during processing” (1).That kind of statement, seemingly approving one technology over another, was unprecedented in an FDA guidance and perhaps an…

Glass Delamination and Breakage

    Although glass is widely considered to be the most traditional and cost-effective option for a parenteral drug container or delivery system, it may not always be the most economical or the best choice for certain products. With knowledge emerging about the suitability of materials in contact with drug products, it is time to look at alternatives that may offer a more appropriate choice and mitigate the risks associated with glass. As single-use technology finds its way into upstream…

Fill and Finish for Biologics

    As most novelists will tell you, if you make substantial changes to the beginning of a story, you may well need to revise your preestablished conclusion. Similarly, as approaches to process design and development change, new tools, technologies, and various shifting “paradigms” also affect the way companies approach final formulation, filling, and finish steps. As yet another ref lection of increased process understanding and quality-by-design’s (QbD’s) holistic approach to biopharmaceutical development, those final steps — traditionally outsourced by…

Implementing a Single-Use Solution for Fill–Finish Manufacturing Operations

    Fill–finish is the final operation in manufacture of sterile products (except for terminally sterilized products). This process requires sophisticated technology and machinery in a highly controlled, aseptic environment. Fill–finish assemblies must meet stringent requirements to ensure flow-path sterility and integrity, ensure operational safety and efficiency, and provide fill-volume accuracy to exacting requirements. Traditional fill–finish machinery comes as fixed systems comprising complex components that require assembly, cleaning and sterilization, disassembly, and material storage after filling is complete. Those operational…