MAb

Moving Forward with a Gene Therapy for Damaged Hearts

A cocktail of three specific genes can reprogram cells in the scars caused by heart attacks into functioning muscle cells. Adding a gene that stimulates the growth of blood vessels enhances that effect, say researchers from Weill Cornell Medical College, Baylor College of Medicine, and Stony Brook University Medical Center in a report that appears online in the Journal of the American Heart Association (1). “The idea of reprogramming scar tissue in the heart into functioning heart muscle was exciting,”…

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,…

In Vitro Functional Testing Methods for Monoclonal Antibody Biosimilars

The pressure to contain rising healthcare costs — combined with the number of innovator biologic drugs coming off patent (30 licensed biological drugs by 2015) — offers huge opportunities for developers of biosimilar products. In 2011, the global market size of the biosimilars industry was around US$2.5 billion. Global demand for such products — and monoclonal antibody (MAb) biosimilars, specifically — is estimated to grow at 8–17% from 2012 to 2016 (1). The advent of biosimilars should bring more affordable…

Comparability Protocols for Biotechnological Products

Comparability has become a routine exercise throughout the life cycle of biotechnological products. According to ICH Q5E, a comparability exercise should provide analytical evidence that a product has highly similar quality attributes before and after manufacturing process changes, with no adverse impact on safety or efficacy, including immunogenicity (1). Any doubt about data from such studies could translate into unforeseen pharmacological or nonclinical studies — or worse, clinical studies. Selection of analytical methods and acceptance criteria that will be applied…

Biological Assay Qualification Using Design of Experiments

In 2012, the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) published a complementary set of three guidance documents on the development, analysis, and validation of biological assays (1,2,3). USP chapter recommends a novel, systematic approach for bioassay validation using design of experiments (DoE) that incorporates robustness of critical parameters (2). Use of DoE to establish robustness has been reported (4,–5), but to our knowledge its use in qualification or validation protocols for assessing assay accuracy, precision, and linearity is not described in literature.…

Increasing Purity and Yield in Biosimilar Production

Current downstream processing strategies for recombinant proteins often require multiple chromatographic steps, which may lead to poor overall yields. Product purification can be especially difficult when a target protein displays reduced stability, forms isoforms or misprocessed variants, or needs to be purified from a complex mixture containing a high degree of contaminants. One technology that has been developed to tackle such limitations is based on custom-made chromatography matrices containing camelid-based single-domain antibody fragments. With a molecular weight of only 12–15…

Biologics Have a Robust Pipeline

Earlier this year, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) released a report titled 2013 Report: Medicines in Development – Biologics. It lists 907 biologics currently in development at “America’s biopharmaceutical research companies.” The list includes biologics targeting more than 100 diseases that either are currently in human clinical trials or are under review by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Of those 907 product candidates, the most common types are monoclonal antibodies (MAbs, 338), vaccines (250), and…

Broadening the Baseline

When the editors of BPI asked us at BPSA to put together a content-rich article on single-use issues, we were happy to do so. Our challenge was how to bring in multiple viewpoints about the growing business of single-use that would be a “quick read” for the BPI audience. The answer: an expert colloquy. Represented here are several of the most qualified industry spokespersons in single-use — all are members of BPSA and speak as directors of the alliance. Their…

Better Cells for Better Health

Since its inception 35 years ago, the biennial meeting of the European Society for Animal Cell Technology (ESACT) has built on a tradition of combining basic science and applications into industrial biotechnology to become the international reference event in its subject matter. Every other year, this gathering of academics and industry professionals features a famously exciting social program and an extensive vendor/supplier exhibition specific to animal cell technology. ESACT meetings are much-anticipated international venues for information exchange, inspiration, networking, and…

Purifying Common Light-Chain Bispecific Antibodies

A bispecific antibody can bind two different antigens. Immunoglobulin G (IgG) type antibodies have two binding sites with different variable regions. An IgG variable region is made up of a variable light-chain sequence (VL) and a variable heavy-chain sequence (VH). The light chains (LCs) of common LC antibodies are identical for both variable regions, leaving the heavy chain (HC) for generating different specificities. Thus, recombinant host cells for production of common LC bispecific antibodies carry genes for both HCs, with…