Supply Chain

Creating Value Through Investment

During my MBA course, Professor Pierre Casse — then at the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) in Lausanne, Switzerland — regularly reminded us that one key to success was constantly finding new ways to “delight and inspire your clients” by creating value. SAFC achieved that objective in its “Overcoming Supply Chain Vulnerability and Lowering Risk in Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing” symposium 17–18th June 2014 in Turnberry, Scotland. Along with a day of industry insight, the event included a visit and tour…

Trends in Setting Single-Use Technology Standards

The biopharmaceutical industry now incorporates single-use (SU) technology and systems in most production processes based on cell culture (1, 2). Implementation of such technologies has led to the availability of prepackaged and sterilized systems complete and ready for use with preinstalled mixers and monitoring probes. From upstream process- material preparation through final-product formulation, biopharmaceutical sponsors are increasingly presented with numerous SU solutions that support all major production platforms (3–5). The number of SU materials and suppliers in biopharmaceutical manufacturing has…

Enhanced Assurance of Supply for Single-Use Bags: Based on Material Science, Quality By Design, and Partnership with Suppliers

Growing adoption of single-use bags in commercial production of biopharmaceutical drugs raises new challenges for bag suppliers and drives the need for consistent product quality, improved assurance of supply, robust change management, and business continuity planning. In close collaboration with resin and film suppliers, polymer scientists and biologists at Sartorius Stedim Biotech have followed a stringent material science and quality by design (QbD) program to develop a completely new polyethylene film and to achieve consistent performance of new Flexsafe bags…

A Critical Mission: Clinical Trial Material Storage and Distribution

As if manufacturing of investigational medicinal products (IMPs) weren’t challenging enough already, the appropriate storage and distribution of sensitive biological products can be an adventurous journey itself — especially if not carefully planned and managed. No one solution fits all situations. Many things must be evaluated during planning stages. For example, what is more important: time to delivery or quality of transport and product integrity until drug can be administered to a patient? It is important to understand key storage…

Tsunami - Japan 2011

Supply Chain Challenges in the Biopharmaceutical Industry: A Case Study Following the 2011 Tsunami in Japan

Global manufacturing of biopharmaceuticals for human use helps save the lives of millions of people and is a large commitment to public health. The industry operates in an environment with financial uncertainties and complex international supply chains, so the question of risk mitigation is paramount. There is an expectation that comprehensive risk mitigation programs should be in place to minimize the risk of supply chain interruptions that would negatively affect the manufacture of these vital therapeutics. Here we share how…

Managing Contract Relationships with Quality Agreements: Keeping in Mind the New FDA Guidance

Using contract manufacturing organizations (CMOs) to augment your supply chain is not a new phenomenon in the pharmaceutical industry. One of my first projects in industry involved developing a process for a recombinant protein while manufacturing materials for clinical trials. My team recognized that the company did not have the money to build a plant for manufacturing an unproven product, and it was not bullish to the risk of investing, so we turned to a contract manufacturer in Austria. That…

Powders and Bulk Liquids

    The two major bioprocess fluids — culture media for upstream production and buffers for downstream processing — are classic single-use products. They are used once and then disposed of. The two basic options for both differ by physical state: powdered media and buffers (“powders” for in-house preparation of liquids by end users) and bulk liquid culture media and buffers, which are fully prepared by their suppliers (“liquids”). We conducted market research studies comparing the benefits and risks (value…

Cell Therapy Bioprocessing Technologies and Indicators of Technological Convergence

The cell therapy industry is undergoing a natural evolution from scientific curiosity into a commercially and clinically attractive opportunity (1). This evolution is by no means complete, and growing evidence suggests that its progression is driving significant developments in cell therapy bioprocessing — notably, convergence. Table 1:&#8 194; () Progressively, bioprocessing technologies primarily used in production of noncell-based products are being evaluated for cell therapy bioprocessing applications (2). Consequently, this process of convergence is leading to an increasing proportion of…

Innovation in Biopharmaceutical Manufacture

The following is a report from a workshop on innovation in biopharmaceutical manufacturing held at the Annual bioProcessUK Conference in Bristol on 29 November 2012. The aim of the workshop was to access the experience of practitioners in the United Kingdom so as to understand better the challenges and opportunities for innovation in this sector. The workshop addressed the drivers that influence the implementation of process improvements and novel technologies in biopharmaceutical manufacture from the perspective of both manufacturers and…

Inactivated Poliovirus Vaccine Made in Modular Facilities with Single-Use Technology

If current efforts to eradicate polioviruses worldwide are successful, then the oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV) currently used for routine immunization in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) will be replaced by inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV). IPV will become the only option for such countries if they want to continue to vaccinate against polio (1). Because IPV is currently considered to be too expensive for use in LMICs, strategies are being undertaken to make IPV more affordable (2). Some experts estimate that…