Manufacturing

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…

Reducing Clinical-Phase Manufacturing Costs: Collaborating for Savings without Compromising Quality or Performance

In downstream purification of monoclonal antibodies (MAbs), the single greatest contributor to manufacturing costs is the expensive capture step typically based on protein A affinity chromatography. Almost since its introduction to bioprocessing, efforts have been made to reduce the cost of this step. Several alternative ligands have been promulgated as potential replacements for protein A, but they have proven difficult to adopt and scale up. Supplier companies have pushed for increases in capacity and economics, but those are always accompanied…

The First Single-Use Diaphragm Valve: Automated and Controllable Systems Increase Process Reliability

Single-use components and systems now are firmly established in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. The trend toward simplified and flexible upstream and downstream plant design means that these components are becoming increasingly important — especially in biopharmaceutical production. In the past, the only available disposables were primarily tubes, fittings, and possibly filters. But the number of single-use systems has been increasing for a number of years now. It is hardly surprising that plant designers and operators now can rely on…

Cell-Delivered Gene Therapy: This Viral Vector Manufacturing Method Could Widen Its Applicability

Cell-delivered gene therapy is making an impact on a range of diseases (1–17). To date, successful treatments have generally been in conditions involving genetic deficiencies/abnormalities, for which introduction of a normal gene allele has been corrective (1–12, 18). Such an approach requires a vector containing the normal allele to overcome the mutant or lacking gene. The vector of choice for cell-delivered gene therapy is often a lentivirus that integrates and expresses introduced therapeutic genes in host target cells and their…

Biosimilar Therapeutic Monoclonal Antibodies: Gaps in Science Limit Development of an Industry Standard for Their Regulatory Approval, Part 2

Last month, Part 1 of this discussion briefly described the regulatory landscape for developing biosimilar therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (TMAbs). We identified certain specific structural components of TMAb drug substances that warrant particular attention because alterations to them are likely to affect therapeutic safety and effectiveness. Now we conclude by considering whether studies of reference materials can further the development of analytical industry standards to ensure comparability of putative biosimilar TMAbs with innovator TMAbs. We suggest that the time is right…

Special Report on Antibody-Drug Conjugates: Technical Challenges and Opportunities

Among the emerging targeted therapies in biotechnology, antibody–drug conjugates (ADCs) hold a unique position. An ADC consists of a monoclonal antibody (MAb) with affinity to tumor cells, a cytotoxic small-molecule payload, and a linker connecting the two. Together the MAb, conjugation chemistry, and cytotoxin increase the complexity of ADCs several-fold relative to unmodified MAbs — and exponentially relative to chemotherapies. Viewing ADCs as hybrids of antibody- and chemotherapy-based cancer therapies is tempting. That description applies chemically and structurally, but ADCs’…

Engineering Tissues with Bioprinting

Commonly referred to as three-dimensional (3D) printing, additive manufacturing encompasses a set of technologies that fabricate objects in an additive way, layer by layer, rather than conventional means of fabrications that generally subtract unwanted material from a larger block. Precise control over material placement allows 3D printing to fabricate objects that otherwise would not be manufacturable. Although many of these technologies have been around for two or three decades, recently they have received a significant amount of attention from industry,…

Progress Toward Commercial Scale and Efficiency in Cell Therapy Bioprocessing

Regenerative medicine includes both cell and gene therapies. Currently 672 regenerative medicine companies operate around the world, and 20 products have been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Of 631 ongoing clinical trials by the end of 2015 (1), over 40% are in oncology, followed in prominence by cardiovascular and infectious diseases. Here I focus on gene and cell therapy bioprocessing in which the final products delivered to patients are cells. Cell therapies are either autologous (derived…

Manufacturing Plasmid DNA: Ensuring Adequate Supplies for Gene and Cell Therapies

The concept of gene therapy is far from new, with initial studies performed over 20 years ago (1). However, in the past few years an explosion of interest in this area has gone beyond initial regenerative approaches using viral vectors. Interest is now moving increasingly into potential use of T cells modified using recombinant viral vectors for immunotherapy applications. Such therapies are based on using either adenoassociated virus (AAV) or lentivirus (1), both vectors being frequently generated through transient expression…