Upstream Single-Use Technologies

Continuous Processes: Disposables Enable the Integration of Upstream and Downstream Processing

Despite decades of advancement in characterization analytics, biotherapeutics still are largely defined by the manufacturing processes used to make them. This linking of process to clinical results (and thus to commercial success) has made the biopharmaceutical industry somewhat risk-averse when it comes to the adoption of new technologies. That desire to “derisk” biomanufacturing through better process understanding — as well as the need to adapt to uncertainties in patient population size through process flexibility — in turn drives the need…

BioPhorum Operations Group Technology Roadmapping, Part 3: Enabling Technologies and Capabilities

Although great strides have been made over the past 20 years to increase the productivity and robustness of manufacturing processes for biopharmaceuticals, the cost and complexity of their development and manufacturing remain high, especially in comparison with those of small-molecule pharmaceuticals. Process improvements are required to increase patient access while maintaining the viability of an R&D-driven biopharmaceutical industry. Facility productivity, cost of goods (CoG), and capital investment all have significant margins for improvement. Such goals can be achieved not only…

Design and Performance of Single-Use, Stirred-Tank Bioreactors

Single-use components and systems have been incorporated into many bioprocesses as an alternative to cleanable, reusable systems. A wide range of publications have detailed the reasons for this trend toward a single-use approach. Justification in many cases comes from process-specific benefits such as increased manufacturing flexibility — especially for contract manufacturing organizations (CMOs) — enhanced sterility assurance, elimination of cleaning, reduced capital investment, faster processing times with increased productivity, faster start-up, and other benefits (1). One critical factor in the…

Continuous Cell Culture Operation at 2,000-L Scale

In the biopharmaceutical industry, continuous manufacturing is often cited as a method for increasing the productivity of bioprocesses (1). Compared with batch processing, it has the potential to enable production of more product within a smaller facility footprint — while improving product quality, particularly for sensitive and unstable molecules. Investigation into continuous methods is taking place for both upstream and downstream operations. For the full benefit of continuous processing to be realized, an argument has been made that cell culture,…

Performance Qualification of a Single-Use, Stirred-Tank Bioreactor with CHO-S Cell Culture

The increasing role and importance of cell culture in biophamaceutical manufacturing has led to considerable research and development (R&D) into bioreactor design and performance in recent years. As a result, a greater understanding of bioreactor fluid dynamics and critical physical parameters is now essential to maximize cell growth and productivity. Stirred-tank bioreactors are especially important in this development process because of their favorable properties in areas such as mixing efficiency and homogeneity, energy transfer, and scalability. The design and manufacture…

A Single-Use Process for Production of Recombinant Human Follicle-Stimulating Hormone

Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) is a heterodimeric glycoprotein consisting of noncovalently linked α and β subunits. It stimulates the growth of immature follicles in ovaries and primary spermatocytes in testes and thus plays an important role in human reproduction (1). Human menopausal gonadotropin for infertility treatment was first introduced into clinical practice in 1950 (2, 3). Subsequently, treatments with urinary FSH have been replaced by recombinant human FSH (rh-FSH), which has been shown to provide several advantages such as absence of…

Monitoring Live Biomass in Disposable Bioreactors

Often simply referred to as capacitance, radio-frequency (RF) impedance has been used for over two decades to measure online biomass. It is generally regarded as the most robust and reliable method to monitor live-cell concentrations in mammalian cell culture (1). Many biopharmaceutical companies have now made the transition from conventional glass or stainless steel multiuse (MU) vessels to single-use (SU) bioreactors. Disposables are rapidly becoming the preferred platform for new processes requiring current good manufacturing practice (CGMP) compliance. At the…

Evaluating New Film for Single-Use Bags: Growth Performance Studies with Animal and Human Cells

In biopharmaceutical development and manufacturing processes, single-use technology has become widely accepted (1). Storage and cultivation bags are particularly common. They are fabricated from plastics consisting of multilayer films and are typically provided gamma-sterilized by suppliers (2). The bags offer several advantages such as savings in time and cost. Lowered contamination risk results from reduced cleaning and sterilization demands. However, some adverse effects of polymer films on cell growth and metabolism have been reported, both for storage and cultivation bags…

The Case for a Standardized Assay to Test Suitability of Single-Use Systems in Cell Culture Applications

Increased commercial use of single-use systems (SUS) for large-scale biopharmaceutical production creates the need for consensus on industry best practices and standards for materials in SUS components. End users and suppliers are beginning to develop a shared vision of industry needs in such areas (1, 2). For example, highly visible efforts to harmonize extractables testing include contributions from groups such as the BioPhorum Operations Group (BPOG), Bio-Process Systems Alliance (BPSA), Parenteral Drug Association (PDA), ASTM, and ISPE. In addition to…

Single-Use Processing for Microbial Fermentations

During the past decade, single‑use bioprocessing has emerged as a standard platform for current good manufacturing practice (CGMP) mammalian cell culture. Biomanufacturers have come to appreciate the benefits of lower capital and operating costs, reduced contamination risk, continuity from early development through manufacturing, flexibility, and sustainability (1). Disposable cell‑culture vessels have gained wide acceptance because their performance duplicates that of stainless‑steel, fixed‑tank bioreactors, with which manufacturers have extensive experience. This is no accident: Single‑use bioreactors use stainless–steel engineering principles, particularly…