Business

Cell Therapy Will Transform the Future of Medicine

The third annual IBC Cell Therapy Bioprocessing conference was held in Bethesda, MD, on 21–22 October 2013. It brought pioneers in the development of cell-based therapies together with companies that have enabling technologies, such as bioreactors, cell culture media, and advanced monitoring software. After the conference, I discussed the highlights and key themes coming out of the event with Dr. Phil Vanek, general manager of cell bioprocessing at GE Healthcare Life Sciences in Westborough, MA. Also an instructor for advanced…

Thinking Strategically

At the recent Phacilitate Gene and Cell Therapy Conference (27–29 January 2014 in Washington, DC), BPI’s editor in chief Anne Montgomery and publisher Brian Caine spoke with Richard Grant, executive vice president, life sciences, at Invetech (www.invetech.com.au); and Brian Hanrahan, program manager at Invetech. They and their colleagues were instrumental in advising us how to bring ongoing discussions of regenerative medicines into BPI four years ago for the first Cell Therapy Supplement issue. We asked them to comment generally on…

Essentials in Quality By Design

Quality by design (QbD) is a systematic approach to drug development. It begins with predefined objectives and emphasizes product and process understanding and process control, all based on sound science, data-based decision making, and quality risk management (QRM). As introduced by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), QbD brings modern drug development methodologies to chemistry, manufacturing, and control (CMC) teams working on biologics, pharmaceuticals, and vaccines. The innovations associated with QbD are not so much the development concepts (which…

Activatable Immunoconjugates for Target Cancer-Cell–Specific Diagnosis and Therapy

In cancer treatment, early diagnosis and targeted therapies are assumed to yield the highest cure rates. However, most current methods are limited by their low sensitivity to early disease and a lack of specificity for targeted cell killing. Newly developed, activatable immunoconjugates assist in the accurate detection of cancer through in vivo imaging with high target-to-background contrast (1,2). They also provide for the possibility of highly specific, light-mediated treatment with minimal effects on healthy cells surrounding tumors (3). In fact,…

Cell Therapy Manufacturing

Fueled by a recent resurgence in public financing and compelling clinical data for indications as diverse as acute macular degeneration and pancreatic cancer, a growing number of cell therapies are driving toward pivotal clinical studies and commercialization. Although regulatory precedents have been set for various autologous and allogeneic products in the United States, Asia, and the European Union, regulatory guidance continues to evolve for a widening array of cell products. Adult stem cells (e.g., mesenchymal stem cells), embryonic stem cells,…

Accelerating Purification Process Development of an Early Phase MAb with High-Throughput Automation

    Monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) are the fastest growing segment in the biopharmaceutical industry because they are potentially efficacious in the treatment of diseases such as cancer and autoimmune disorders (1,2). With steadily increasing demand for efficient and affordable therapies, speed to clinic/market is important, and biopharmaceutical companies push multiple drugs into development each year to ensure business sustainability (3,4,5,6). Downstream purification process development for therapeutic MAbs is a critical step on their path to reach clinical trials and beyond…

Single-Use, Continuous Processing of Primary Stem Cells

Many potentially therapeutic products involve the culture of stem cells. Their commercial success depends on the development of scalable good manufacturing practice (GMP) technologies that can both robustly and cost-effectively produce very large numbers of cells. Through many improvements and innovations in bioprocessing operations over the years, fed-batch suspension culture has remained the most common mode for large-scale biopharmaceutical manufacturing. However, some recent events suggest that may be changing (1,2). For the culture and expansion of stem cells, large-format adherent…

Bioprocess Advances Drive Vaccine Manufacturing in Developing Countries

Advances in bioprocessing technology hardware and genetic engineering are expanding the geographic options for biologics manufacturing to include developing and emerging economies. Such advances are beginning to permit biopharmaceutical production in regions that previously lacked the technical expertise or quality processes to permit complex operations, monitoring, record-keeping, and oversight. Global demand by countries for in-country production of biological vaccines is increasing, so those products tend to be leading the way in terms of adoption of modern bioprocessing in developing countries.…

Evolving Biologics Demand Spurs New Facility Needs

In the era of biologics manufacturing, chemical medicine production facilities are becoming the dinosaurs of the life sciences sector. Traditional chemical facility development and management systems are simply unequipped to support the highly sensitive — and highly regulated — process of developing and producing biological and biosimilar medicines. Renovating or building such facilities anew is a mammoth undertaking by any measure. All signs point to the value of evolving facility design and management to house more sophisticated biologic laboratory services.…

Optimizing for the Future

The 2013 biennial meeting of the European Society for Animal Cell Technology (ESACT) was in Lille, France this past June. While there, BPI editorial advisor Miriam Monge (vice president of Biopharm Services Ltd.) interviewed ESACT executive committee member Hitto Kaufmann, PhD (vice president of biopharmaceutical process sciences for Boehringer Ingelheim). They talked about some scientific developments being discussed at this year’s ESACT conference as well as Boehringer Ingelheim’s recent announcement about setting up in China and Kaufmann’s own thoughts on…