Manufacturing

Introduction: Process Issues in Cell, Gene, and Tissue Therapies

It’s hard to believe that just six years ago, BioProcess International published its first cell therapy supplement, which included just one article on “cell therapy bioprocessing” (1). At the time, most such processing was conducted in special clinical laboratories and academic institutions. As BPI continued to cover this relatively new segment of the biopharmaceutical industry, we heard more about “the product is the process” and “scale out instead of scaling up.” After many trials, errors, and milestones, regenerative medicine has…

Expansion Platform Components

I first met Chris Mach at the Biotech Week Boston conference in October. We discussed the challenges that biomanufacturers are facing in cell expansion, especially in three specific areas in scale-up systems. Stack Vessels: Mach said many of his company’s customers are currently facing challenges with selecting the right platforms for growing their cells or viruses. He pointed out that stack vessels perform extremely well in different applications (e.g., for cell therapies), and they’re compact and disposable. “Many customers do…

Platform Solutions for Cell Therapy Manufacturing

Advances in cell therapy have resulted in significant progress toward treating some widespread and difficult diseases, many of which represent unmet medical needs. For example, phase 3 clinical trials are already under way for therapies based on mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), including therapies for graft-versus-host disease, acute myocardial ischemia, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (1–3). Successful cell therapy treatments for such afflictions will be not only significant medical breakthroughs, but also in very high demand. However, their commercialization is…

3D Bioprinting Possibilities and Challenges

Three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting is the newest addition to the regenerative medicine family. Now within the industry dedicated to providing more personalized drug products, this new additive-manufacturing technology has the potential to truly focus on individual tissue repair and replacement. In a short period of time, 3D bioprinting has been applied in studies using bones, blood vessels, composite tissues, vascular grafts, tracheal splints, cartilaginous structures, heart tissue (e.g., two-valve heart), and vaginal organs (1). With conference presentations and other studies discussing…

BioPhorum Operations Group Technology Roadmapping, Part 2: Efficiency, Modularity, and Flexibility As Hallmarks for Future Key Technologies

For a complex biopharmaceutical industry, setting out to forecast future technologies must involve considering how such technologies will be used. In the first article (1), I discussed why there was a need to develop a technology roadmap for the biopharmaceutical industry and the trends shaping its future: namely, the introduction of new product classes, the continued growth of the biopharmaceutical market, pressure to reduce costs, and uncertainty in approval and sales of new products. Herein I discuss the technology roadmap’s…

Buffers in Biologics Manufacturing

Biotechnology has enabled commercialization of protein-based drugs including insulin, growth factors, blood factors, and antibodies. Production and purification of such biologic products require different buffers for pH control and stabilization of reactions in different steps during biomanufacture. These processes include cell culture production (the “upstream” phase), purification (the “downstream” phase), and a final phase in which excipients are introduced to the drug substance to create a drug product (“formulation and storage”). In upstream processes, buffers are primarily used for their…

Improving Protein Folding Control and Scalability Using imPULSE Mixing Technology

This webcast features: Anthony Hawrylechko, Director of Microbial Bioprocess, Cytovance Protein folding by dilution is a common approach used in the manufacturing of biologics derived from microbial expression systems. This typically involves the solubilization of a washed inclusion body preparation containing the concentrated product polypeptide with a strong chaotrope or detergent solution. The denatured, inactive product solution is then diluted into a combination pH and red/ox buffer solution. Within this environment, the molecular diffusion rates of chaotrope, buffer components, and…

Biopharmaceutical Fill and Finish: Technical and Operating Challenges for the Latest Formulations and Devices

Because they occur after two highly engineering, and science-driven phases of biomanufacturing – expression and purification – biopharmaceutical fill and finish processes have not received the respect traditionally that they deserve. Yet of all competencies associated with bringing biopharmaceuticals to market, fill and finish arguably are the most specialized. This eBook reports on the technical and operating challenges impacting the latest formulations and devices including: outsourcing, contamination, standardization (pre-filled syringes), lyophilization, and serialization. Get informed on the current state-of-the-art technologies…

Single-Use Fill and Finish: An Interview with NNE Pharmaplan

I talked with NNE Pharmaplan’s Kim Vincent Andersen (single-use technology and biotechnology specialist) and Niels Guldager (global technology partner in biotech) to discuss their experiences with client facilities that incorporate significant elements of single-use technology. In particular, they highlighted a recent project for Novo Nordisk involving a large-scale greenfield filling and inspection facility in Hillerød, Denmark. Find more detailed information about the project online at https://goo.gl/yp4LQh. And you can watch a video about it here: https://youtu.be/czwwgdt3CxI. A Case Study You…

Elastomer Stoppers: Working Toward Adopting an Industry-Wide User Requirements Specification for Particulate Levels

Two years ago, the companies involved in the BioPhorum Operations Group (BPOG) fill–finish community agreed that the quality of elastomer stoppers for vials was causing problems for biopharmaceutical manufacturers. So they deemed it to be a priority for the group. The problem is particularly pronounced for vial stoppers used in legacy products, which may have been on the market for several years. Many such medicines remain valuable for large patient populations. The stoppers used on legacy medicines are manufactured using…