Fill/Finish

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…

A Case Study in Qualification of Single-Use Filling Manifolds for Particles and Endotoxins

    Single-use technology is being examined for implementation in an increasing number of steps in the biopharmaceutical manufacturing process. Some examples of currently available disposable components include filter capsules, tubing, connectors, and biocontainers (for storage, mixing, and bioreactors), as well as devices for chromatography and multipass tangential-flow filtration (1,2). This technology was first implemented in upstream and API downstream processes such as media and buffer preparation, followed by upstream bioreactors and mixers (3). The single-use trend has most recently…

Optimizing Cryopreservation for Therapeutic Cells

    Biopreservation suppresses degradation and enables postpreservation recovery of structure, viability, and function. Although there are several biopreservation techniques (indicated in “Biopreservation Methods” box), most laboratories use either standard cryopreservation protocols (the far majority) or vitrification (much more limited in broad systems application) when freezing cells for research and clinical applications. Isopropanol freezing containers such as the Mr. Frosty device from Nalgene Labware have made cryopreservation easier in many applications, and controlled-rate freezers allow users to program and manipulate…

Minimizing Variation of Volume Withdrawn from a Vial Drug Package

Concerns for safety in administration of injectable drug products have escalated in recent years. As a result, scrutiny of administration practices has increased. Pharmaceutical manufacturers are placing greater emphasis on providing the best patient and caregiver experience as well as improving the convenience of drug administration. In fact, many drugs that are regularly administered for chronic conditions are now being offered for at-home preparation and administration. These trends highlight the importance of providing therapies that are not only effective, but…

Stability Considerations for Biopharmaceuticals: Overview of Protein and Peptide Degradation Pathways

To ensure product safety and efficacy, protein therapeutics must meet defined quality characteristics immediately after manufacture as well at the end of their designated shelf lives. Many physical and chemical factors can affect the quality and stability of biopharmaceutical products, particularly after long-term storage in a container–closure system likely to be subject to variations in temperature, light, and agitation with shipping and handling. Compared with traditional chemical pharmaceuticals, proteins are considerably larger molecular entities with inherent physiochemical complexities, from their…

Increasing Biopharmaceutical Quality Through Packaging Partnerships

Containers and administration devices are integral to the safety and efficacy of biopharmaceutical therapies and must be key considerations for all new drugs coming on the market. By partnering with packaging manufacturers early in development, biopharmaceutical manufacturers can increase efficiencies in their production processes while gaining expert advice and counsel throughout a drug’s lifecycle. Such an alignment can also improve product quality, enhance regulatory compliance, and contribute to the overall state of control by preserving biopharmaceutical stability, ensuring sterilization, and…

Single-Use Connections Enable Advancements in Aseptic Processing

    Today’s market demand for new drugs — combined with the difficult economic environment — is challenging bioprocessors to review their manufacturing systems and seek ways to make them more flexible, reliable, and cost effective. Increasingly, biomanufacturers are turning to single-use aseptic processing systems to meet or beat aggressive product-introduction timeframes while controlling costs. Innovative new single-use technologies continue to be introduced, giving pharmaceutical companies greater flexibility for replacing traditional stainless tubing, equipment, and even entire process suites with…