Bioreactors

Bioreactor Design for Adherent Cell Culture — The Bolt-On Bioreactor Project, Part 3: Containment, Sterility

The Bolt-on Bioreactor (BoB) project is an independent initiative aimed at developing and commercializing a bioreactor for the automated and efficient culture of adherent cells, especially for application in the production of therapeutic cells and other biopharmaceuticals (1). After conducting thorough research on available culture systems for adherent cells, the BoB team believes that a successful alternative to existing devices must answer four major challenges. Addressed in the first article of this series (2), the first challenge has to do…

Bioreactor Design for Adherent Cell Culture: The Bolt-On Bioreactor Project, Part 2 — Process Automation

  The Bolt-on Bioreactor (BoB) project is an independent initiative to develop and commercialize a bioreactor for automated and efficient culture of adherent cells, especially in production of therapeutic cells and other biopharmaceuticals (1). After conducting thorough research on available culture systems for adherent cells, the BoB team believes that a successful alternative to existing devices must solve four major challenges. Addressed in the first installment of this series (2), the first challenge concerns volumetric productivity. The second challenge is…

30 Years of Upstream Productivity Improvements

We recently completed an analysis of the past 30 years of industry progress in commercial-scale expression titers and bioprocessing yields. These basic measures of biopharmaceutical manufacturing efficiency also benchmark the technological progress made in bioprocessing over recent decades. Titer and yield improvements generally indicate related bioprocessing cost savings, something most commercial-scale manufacturers work to improve. This focus on efficiency and productivity has led to constant bioprocessing improvements even for long-approved and -marketed products. Our findings indicate that although upstream titers…

Perfusion’s Role in Maintenance of High-Density T-Cell Cultures

T-cell therapy is a rapidly growing field of personalized medicine, attracting the interest of venture capitalists and pharmaceutical companies alike. Such therapies exploit T cells’ innate abilities to protect against pathogens as well as to seek and destroy cancerous cells. Although many different forms of T-cell therapies are currently in clinical trials, they all follow a common protocol: T cells are isolated from a patient, modified and expanded in a laboratory setting, and then infused back into the same patient…

Bioreactor Design for Adherent Cell Culture — The Bolt-On Bioreactor Project, Part 1: Volumetric Productivity

The Bolt-on Bioreactor (BoB) project is an independent initiative aimed at developing and commercializing a bioreactor for efficient, automated culture of adherent cells in production of therapeutic cells and other biopharmaceuticals (1). After conducting thorough research on available culture systems for adherent cells, the BoB team believes that a successful alternative to existing devices must solve four major challenges. The first challenge has to do with volumetric productivity, the second with process automation, the third with containment and sterility, and…

Reducing Timelines in Early Process Development – Using a Multiparametric Clone-Selection and Feed-Optimization Strategy

The market for biopharmaceutical products remains highly attractive to small biotechnology companies and big pharmaceutical corporations alike (1). Most leading market products are made using recombinant technology (2). Pressures are continually increasing on process development groups to reduce development costs and timelines for taking new clinical products forward from product research bench scale into initial clinical evaluation studies. For many years a recognized critical bottleneck in development of products from mammalian cell lines was selection and isolation of stable, high-producing…

Polymer Resins: Building Blocks for Single-Use Bioreactor Components

Single-use manufacturing equipment for the production of certain biological compounds (e.g., recombinant proteins from mammalian cell cultures) makes good sense. Such equipment reduces water and energy use, decreases the need for equipment sterilization and waste treatment, and optimizes space in a manufacturing facility. But consider the plastic resins used to construct the disposable parts of such equipment. In BPI’s April 2014 issue, Tony Kingsbury discussed the fundamentals of how plastics are made. In this second installment of BPI’s series on…

Automated Mini Bioreactor Technology for Microbial and Mammalian Cell Culture: Flexible Strategy to Optimize Early Process Development of Biologics and Vaccines

The use of mammalian and microbial cells in the production of biologics and vaccines is well established, and the majority of the top 10 drugs are now manufactured in this way. There is a significant and growing pipeline of new biologics (1), which in combination with increased pressure on cost reduction and generic competition from biosimilars (2), means that many biopharmaceutical companies are looking for ways to improve productivity in their development laboratories to ensure that upstream processes are efficient…

Single-Use, Stirred-Tank Bioreactors: Efficient Tools for Process Development and Characterization

During the past decade, single-use bioreactors have become widely accepted as an alternative to conventional stainless steel or glass bioreactors for clinical manufacturing and process development. In the biopharmaceutical industry, glass bioreactors are used mainly for process development and optimization, but also scale-down models for process characterization. So it is of significant importance that such vessels replicate the design of production-scale bioreactors for both reusable and single-use applications. Stirred-tank bioreactors with 2-L, 5-L, and 10-L working volumes have proven to…

Superior Scalability of Single-Use Bioreactors

During the past several years, single-use bioreactors have been gradually established in modern biopharmaceutical processes (1, 2). This adoption is directly linked to their unique ability to enhance flexibility and reduce investment and operational costs. Furthermore, production output can be increased, and time to market is shortened (3). Today a wide variety of single-use bioreactors exists for the cultivation of mammalian and insect cells (4), whereas only limited solutions are available for microbial cultures (5). Typically, processes are established and…