Analytical

T-Cell Suspension Culture in a 24-Well Microbioreactor: High-Throughput Screening of Operating Conditions

Cell therapy promises revolutionary new therapeutic treatments for cancer and other serious diseases and injuries. For example, T-cell therapy response rates of >50% and durable complete response rates of 20% have been reported in patients with metastatic melanoma who had failed other therapies (1). In another example, sustained remissions of up to a year were achieved among a small group of advanced chronic lymphocytic leukemia patients upon treatment with autologous T-cells expressing an anti-CD19 chimeric antigen receptor (2). Numerous other…

Cell-line/Process Development – BPI Theater @ BIO 2015

Ray Price (senior director of business development, DiscoveRx) 3:30–3:55 pm Advances in Research Tools to Accelerate Drug Development Price introduced the BioSeek drug-discovery platform with examples. The technology is built on three pillars: primary human cells; models that use growth factors or cytokines to model a disease environment and then predict how drugs change biomarker responses in those systems; and comparisons of generated profiles with a reference database of more than 4,000 compounds. DiscoveRx uses that database and informatics tools…

Assessing Similarity with Parallel-Line and Parallel-Curve Models: Implementing the USP Development/Validation Approach to a Relative Potency Assay

Potency is a critical quality attribute to support development and release of biopharmaceutical products. Researchers assess most protein-drug potencies using biological assays (such as cell-based assays), which mimic a product’s known mechanism of action or binding assays (if the only known mechanism of action is a drug binding to its target or if a drug is in early phases development). Potency denotes an important feature of complex biologics: their biological activity produced as a direct result of the molecule’s tertiary/quaternary…

Evaluation of a Variable-Pathlength Spectrophotometer: A Comparable Instrument for Determining Protein Concentration

Protein concentrations in bioprocessing are determined by multiplying the measured absorbance of UV light as it passes through a sample by the protein extinction coefficient. Conventional spectrophotometer measurements are based on a fixed pathlength depending on the cuvette used to hold the sample (typically 10 mm). Only a small portion of the UV curve is linear at that pathlength. As a result, conventional spectrophotometers have a limited linear range and are unable to measure a large range of protein concentrations…

Special Report on Product Stability Testing: Developing Methods for New Biologics and Emerging Markets

Stability testing is a vital part of product development and is conducted throughout a product’s life cycle (Figure 1). Stability is part of a biotherapeutic’s quality target product profile, and results help analysts understand how critical quality attributes (CQAs) of both drug substances and products are influenced under specific conditions of temperature, relative humidity (RH), light, storage, pH, and other factors. Manufacturers conduct stability tests to determine degradation pathways and establish shelf lives and storage conditions of their products, for…

BioProcess Theater: Analytical Services

BioProcess International launched about the same time as a major FDA regulatory announcement that has radically altered biopharmaceutical development: The quality by design (QbD) initiative is an important part of the agency’s 21st-century good manufacturing practice (GMP) approach, which is changing how regulators review product applications and thus how companies must approach them (1). It has placed increasing pressure on analytical laboratories, whose work is more important to the success of biotherapeutic products than ever before. Backed by harmonized tripartate…

Hamster Phospholipase B-Like 2 (PLBL2): A Host-Cell Protein Impurity in Therapeutic Monoclonal Antibodies Derived from Chinese Hamster Ovary Cells

All recombinant protein biotherapeutics must be tested for the presence of residual host-cell protein (HCP) impurities (1–3). The most common analytical method for doing so is a polyclonal sandwich immunoassay. Polyclonal anti-HCP antibodies are selected to recognize the broadest population of HCPs possible. The immunogen and analytical standard are produced from a blank-run fermentation that mimics the production run but lacks the specific biotherapeutic protein. Because of the large number of impurities present in harvested cell-culture fluid (HCCF) that might…

Building a Robust Biological Assay for Potency Measurement

Potency is a critical quality attribute of a biological product and is often determined by a biological assay (also called bioassay or biopotency assay). Specifically, potency is the biological activity or capacity of a product directly linked to its clinical efficacy. Potency tests are performed as part of product release, comparability studies, and stability testing. Nonbiological methods — which measure a product’s molecular or biochemical characteristics (e.g., ligand-binding assay) — have gained interest as replacements for often troublesome bioassays. Even…

Improved Fluorescent Labeling Efficiency of N-Linked, High-Mannose Oligosaccharides: Using 8-Aminopyrene-1,3,6-Trisulfonic Acid (APTS) for Analysis of Glycoproteins

Glycosylation of proteins, including monoclonal antibodies (MAbs), is recognized as important for the efficacy, immunogenicity, antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC), and complement-dependent cytotoxicity (CDC) of biotherapeutics (1–6). So research and development of protein candidates is increasingly focused on the effects of glycosylation and how its pathway is affected in the Golgi system of cells involved in biosynthetic processes (7). Such attention on glycosylation has helped advance analytical technologies such as high-pH anion-exchange chromatography (HPAEC) (8); normal-phase chromatography (NP- HPLC), hydrophilic-interaction chromatography…

Modern Laboratory Design: Creating a Space for Effective Collaboration

When asked to envision a modern biotechnology laboratory, lay persons might describe what they’ve seen on an episode of CSI: Miami. Gleaming glass and striking colored lights might look good on television, but they are not what biological researchers need to do their work most effectively. Most of the real biological laboratories I’ve visited, in fact, have been stark, white, fluorescent-lit environments that more resemble something out of 2001: A Space Odyssey. But those are becoming passé. The newest concepts…