Manufacturing Contract Services

Future Manufacturing Strategies for Biosimilars

Biosimilars are a relatively new subset of biopharmaceuticals, with the biotechnology industry finally maturing such that off-patent generic-type products increasingly will be entering major markets (1–3). So far, more than 20 biosimilars for a limited number of reference products have been approved in major markets, primarily the European Union. Only two products have been formally approved as biosimilars in the United States. For this rapidly growing industry sector, little consensus or authoritative information is available yet regarding how and where…

Outsourcing Biosimilars Development

A rapid increase in the number of companies working on development and registration of biosimilars has created a significant market for contract testing and manufacturing organizations (CTOs and CMOs) providing outsourced services specific to these products. Biosimilar developers turn to contract organizations when they lack either the internal capability or capacity for conducting certain work as well as when they require additional resources to bring products to market rapidly. A wide range of contract services are available, and each particular…

Critical Factors for Fill–Finish Manufacturing of Biologics

Over recent decades, protein-based therapeutics have emerged as key drivers of growth in the pharmaceutical industry. Drug development pipelines have filled with biologics, and a handful of monoclonal antibody (MAb) products have become some of the best-selling drugs around the world. Production of biotherapeutics is often challenging because of the inherent instability of these large, complex molecules. Their fragile nature has forced manufacturers to change how bulk drug substances (BDSs) are handled and final drug product is formulated, sterile filtered,…

Contract Manufacturing of Cell Therapies: A Conversation with MaSTherCell’s Eric Mathieu and Thibault Jonckheere

The work of developing advanced medical products is spreading around the globe, and with it comes specialized contract services. Far from a “one size fits all” approach to development, and with few platform technologies yet available, contract service providers in the advanced therapeutics space must focus on helping to move promising science into good manufacturing practice (GMP) environments, but with regulatory pathways and eventual harmonization still under development. One company that formed to address the specific needs of cell therapy…

The Single-Use or Stainless Steel Decision Process: A CDMO Perspective

Decisions regarding whether and when to use single-use (SU) (disposable) devices or stainless steel (SS) equipment for biopharmaceutical manufacturing have been discussed for more than a decade. To date, no argument in terms of safety, cost-effectiveness, or operational efficiency is fully convincing to choose one technology platform or the other for all applications. Biopharmaceutical companies often do not have in-use data to make strategic manufacturing decisions. But one group has been significantly growing its expertise in use of single-use technologies:…

Outsourcing Stability Testing: Discussions with Contract Laboratories

Stability testing is required for all biopharmaceutical drug products to detect all changes in identity, purity, and potency as a result of a number of environmental and processing factors. Whether testing is conducted in-house or through contact laboratories, it involves the development and performance of comprehensive and specific stability protocols for all stages of a product’s life cycle (1). Testing product stability in-house requires signficant time and resources, and carries challenges associated with commercialization market, time, and capacity. Market: The…

Effective Management of Contract Organizations: Keeping the Product Pipeline Moving, Compliant, and Available

Both small and large biopharmaceutical companies are increasingly pursuing the outsourcing of manufacturing and testing throughout the product lifecycle. The growing use of contract manufacturing organizations (CMOs) and contract testing organizations (CTOs) has led to increasing complexity within the biopharmaceutical industry as more third-party sites are leveraged to support global markets. To address those issues, a CASSS Chemistry, Manufacturing, and Controls (CMC) Strategy Forum was held in Washington, DC, 27–28 July 2014. The title was “Effective Management of Contract Organizations: Sponsors, Contract Organizations, Health Authorities and Patients — Keeping the Product Pipeline Moving, Compliant, and Available.” The CMC Strategy Forum is…

Cost-Effective Process Development for Plasmid DNA Manufacture: Evaluation of Single-Use Technologies to Support Escherichia coli Culture

DNA-based gene therapy products have been in clinical development since the 1990s. But over the past 24 months, the overall demand and therapeutic applications for plasmid DNA (pDNA) have rapidly grown and expanded. Currently, pDNA can be used directly as a therapeutic agent (e.g., in gene therapy or generation of vaccine antigens) and indirectly for a range of applications. Those include its use as a critical starting material for transient transfection to produce both viral-vector constructs (e.g., lentivirus or adenoassociated…

Clinical/Commercial Manufacturing: BPI Theater @ BIO 2015

Tony Hitchcock (technical director, Cobra Biologics) 1:30–1:55 pm The Expanding DNA and Gene Therapy Market The gene therapy market has fluctuated dramatically over the past 20 years. But Hitchcock noted that over the past three years there has been a huge emergence of successful clinical outputs of gene therapy, with a large number of IPOs and significant funding. Even more interesting is the number of large pharmaceutical companies bringing gene therapy into their portfolios. Hitchcock pointed out that it is…

Managing Contract Relationships: A BPI Theater Roundtable at the 2015 BIO Convention

On Wednesday 17 June 2015, Patricia Seymour (senior consultant at BioProcess Technology Consultants) chaired a midday roundtable titled, “Managing the Contract Relationship.” She brought together a panel of four experts with different perspectives (contract manufacturing, cell and protein therapies, and legal negotiations): Koen Hellendoorn (head of sales and customer account management at FujiFilm DioSynth Biotechnologies) Justin Skoble (senior director of technical operations for Aduro Biotech) Tom Douville (director of biopharmaceutical development at Kolltan Pharmaceuticals) Lily Vakili (senior counsel of Faber,…