Formulation

Development of a Freeze-Dried Ebola-Expressing Adenoviral Vector: Unexpected Findings and Problems Solved

In December 2013, a two-year-old child in Guinea became the first person to be killed by Ebola in the most recent outbreak. In March of the following year, that outbreak was declared in West Africa. By mid-2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) had declared it to be a public health emergency of international concern and urged pharmaceutical companies to accelerate their development of candidate vaccines. At the peak of the outbreak in 2014, more than 1,200 new cases of Ebola…

Rational Design of Liquid Protein Formulations: Application of Biophysical Stability Predictors and Descriptors to Reformulate Biotherapeutics

Successful development of liquid biopharmaceutical formulations requires careful assessment of the biophysical properties of the protein in solution, primarily focused on achieving optimal conformational and colloidal stability of the drug-substance molecule (1–11). It also involves extensive stability studies under stressed conditions. Using state-of-the-art biophysical tools for characterization of developed products, those studies are based on key biophysical descriptors and extended particulate characterization methods (subvisible particles in micro- and nano-size range) to deliver a stable product for market with a shelf…

eBook: Alternative Delivery of Biologics — Underdogs Pursue Roads Less Traveled

A number of failures in development of noninjectable delivery methods for therapeutic proteins have caused numerous development programs to crash and burn along with investors’ hopes, dreams, and cash. Most everyone reading BioProcess International is familiar with the issues and challenges: Needles hurt and involve risks to both caregivers and patients. Injections often require administration by trained personnel in specialized settings. But alternative delivery methods are fraught with greater challenges related to dosing, bioavailability (particularly for oral dosing), and inherent…

Conference Report: The Drug Product Track at 2017’s BioProcess International Conference and Exhibition in Boston, MA

At the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, MA, during Knect365’s “Biotech Week Boston” in late September of 2017, one track of the BioProcess International Conference focused on drug products, fill–finish, and formulations. Presenters represented a number of major biopharmaceutical companies — AbbVie, Amgen, Biogen, Eli Lilly, Genentech (Roche), GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Lonza, Pfizer, and Sanofi — as well as suppliers Bosch, Merck (MilliporeSigma), ReForm, and Single-Use Support. They focused on predictive modeling, quality by design (QbD) and process analytics,…

Polysorbates, Biotherapeutics, and Anaphylaxis: A Review

Rapidly increasing use of monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) in the treatment of neoplastic, autoimmune, and inflammatory diseases has led to a dramatic increase in hypersensitivity reactions worldwide, complicating the use of MAbs as first-line therapies and limiting patient survival and quality of life (1). The origins of anaphylaxis are not well understood, though its mechanism is fairly straightforward (Figure 1). It is usually attributed to some undefined intrinsic property or properties of a biotherapeutic — despite the fact that biotherapeutic formulations…

Validation of Controlled Freezing and Thawing: A 9-L Bottle Study

Freeze–thaw processes affect the quality of biopharmaceutical proteins (1–13) and human cells (14). It has been reported that no method consistently controls freezing and thawing rates for biological formulations (1). My recent study refutes that claim with validated rate-controlled freezing and thawing of such formulations in 16-L single-use bags (15). The study reported herein presents a consistent method for controlled-rate freezing and thawing of bottled formulations. It also highlights the effect of load and container position on freeze rates. The…

Investigation of Foreign-Particle Contamination: Practical Application of FT-IR, Raman, and SEM-EDS Technologies

The presence of visible foreign particulate matter is considered a critical defect in parenteral products and one of the main reasons they can be recalled (1). Foreign particles present during any stage of manufacturing are considered to be contaminants and can impose a risk to the control of the manufacturing processes (2). For those reasons, particle contamination arising in any manufacturing step initiates a nonconformance or out-of-specification observation. That requires an investigation to identify root cause so as to mitigate…

Osmolality Measurements for High-Concentration Protein–Polymer Solutions: Variation Based on Working Principles of Osmometers

Osmolality is a critical attribute for injectable formulations. It is desirable to have products match physiological osmotic conditions. Furthermore, osmolality provides confirmation of soluble content in solution. Preventing injection of hypo- or hyperosmotic solutions is a key element of parenteral formulation development. Additionally, some investigators have explored correlations between injection pain and formulation osmolality, although no significant correlation has yet been observed (1–4). Osmolality is a valuable in-process test also because it provides a reliable and repeatable value that reflects…

Validation of Controlled Freezing and Thawing Rates: A 16-L–Bag Study

It is well understood that freeze– thaw processes affect the product quality of biopharmaceuticals (1–3). It has been reported that there is no consistent method of controlled freezing and thawing rates for biological formulations (4). Traditionally, ultralow temperature storage chambers that were not designed for freezing have been used to provide an energy state for the environment surrounding the product with very little excess capacity to change the state of the product. This study details a consistent method for controlled-rate…

Rapid Formulation Development for Monoclonal Antibodies

Monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) are at the focal point of biologics development. Many of the best-selling drugs are therapeutic MAbs or related proteins (1–2). The combined world-wide sales from MAbs will be nearly US$125 billion by 2020 (3). About 50 MAb products treating a range of diseases have been approved in the United States or Europe. With the large number of MAbs progressing through discovery, biomanufacturers need to accelerate process development and move projects rapidly into clinical manufacturing (4–5). Formulation development,…