Sunday, May 1, 2011 Daily Archives

Adoption of Single-Use Sensors for BioProcess Operations

The increasing adoption of single-use technology in biopharmaceutical, vaccine, and cell therapy production is one indication that such technology has moved far beyond its novelty stage. Arguably, this is the preferred technology of newly developed processes. Benefits have been well documented in journals and conference presentations and have led the industry to form the Bio-Process Systems Alliance (BPSA). One current need is for process sensors that offer the same convenience as disposable bags, tubings, and filters being used. An ideal…

A Case Study in Qualification of Single-Use Filling Manifolds for Particles and Endotoxins

    Single-use technology is being examined for implementation in an increasing number of steps in the biopharmaceutical manufacturing process. Some examples of currently available disposable components include filter capsules, tubing, connectors, and biocontainers (for storage, mixing, and bioreactors), as well as devices for chromatography and multipass tangential-flow filtration (1,2). This technology was first implemented in upstream and API downstream processes such as media and buffer preparation, followed by upstream bioreactors and mixers (3). The single-use trend has most recently…

Quality By Design and the New Process Validation Guidance

    Where were you in 1987, and what were you doing? I’m not too embarrassed to say that I was beginning my last year of high school and paying far more attention to guitar lessons and writing my first novel than what I might eventually do for a career. Meanwhile, the US FDA was publishing a guidance document on process validation that the biopharmaceutical industry has relied on ever since. I’m willing to bet that quite a few readers…

Implementing a Single-Use Solution for Fill–Finish Manufacturing Operations

    Fill–finish is the final operation in manufacture of sterile products (except for terminally sterilized products). This process requires sophisticated technology and machinery in a highly controlled, aseptic environment. Fill–finish assemblies must meet stringent requirements to ensure flow-path sterility and integrity, ensure operational safety and efficiency, and provide fill-volume accuracy to exacting requirements. Traditional fill–finish machinery comes as fixed systems comprising complex components that require assembly, cleaning and sterilization, disassembly, and material storage after filling is complete. Those operational…

Disposable Downstream Processing for Clinical Manufacturing

Although disposable parts and modules have been used in the biopharmaceutical industry since the 1970s, as detailed in the “History” box, total disposable manufacturing has become a viable option only very recently. Whereas liquid storage became disposable in the 1990s, processing operations such as depth filtration, tangential-flow filtration (TFF), and chromatography have still required skids with reusable flow paths that needed cleaning and sanitization. Important recent milestones in total disposable technology included introduction of stirred bioreactors by HyClone (Thermo Scientific)…

Improved Downstream Technologies Are Needed to Boost Single-Use Adoption

Greater adoption of single-use systems in biomanufacturing is going to require downstream device innovation. To get there, over a third of the biopharmaceutical industry is demanding that suppliers innovate and develop new single-use purification devices, according to BioPlan Associates, Inc.’s annual survey of biopharmaceutical manufacturing capacity (1). Such new products would create exceptional opportunities for innovators. However, calls for new, more fully integrated single-use technologies and processes will require more adventurous innovation on the part of biomanufacturers and their suppliers.…

From the Editor

        Bonjour! I am writing this from Nice, France, on the last day of the eighth annual BPI European Conference and Exhibition organized by our London-based Informa Life Sciences colleagues. Despite the attraction of some exquisite spring weather (a welcome respite for me from the rain-drenched Pacific Northwest), sessions were well attended till the very end, and discussions were lively and productive. This event was organized into five tracks: manufacturing strategies, process optimization, economics and QbD; cell…

Disposable Bioreactor Sensors Play Catch-Up

The evolution of single-use bioreactor (SUB) systems in biologics manufacturing has been rapid and influential. Reliance on efficient and flexible bioreactor technology will be critical for reducing scale-up costs and facility capital expenses as well as aggressively growing biotherapeutic and monoclonal antibody production. The biopharmaceutical industry has seen considerable growth in the proliferation of single-use bioreactor platforms as well as manufacturing areas where these systems are applied. Need for Improved Single-Use Sensors As disposable technologies are widely accepted and established,…

A Framework for Selecting and Working with a Normal-Flow Filtration Supplier

The biopharmaceutical market accounts for about 20% of the total market for pharmaceuticals, but its share continues to increase because of double-digit compound annual growth rates leading to projections that by 2014 eight of the top 10 best-selling drugs will be biologics (1). The industry faces many challenges and opportunities, as Jim Davies of Lonza Biologics explained to me: “Biomanufacturers have to contend with what is at present a dynamic technical and commercial landscape. Industry consolidation continues to occur as…

Won’t Get Fooled Again

    The world loves a winner, and no one wants to be linked to a failed endeavor that could stall or otherwise negatively affect his or her career. If you’re reading this magazine, you’ve probably been inspected or audited by regulators and/or customers at some point. When it was finished, did your company compare favorably with expectations, or did the reports reflect a negative image? Did they mirror management’s view of operations, or was there a disconnect with management…