Thursday, March 1, 2012 Daily Archives

IBC’s 22nd International Intensive Symposium Biological Assay Development, Validation, and Maintenance

Plan now to attend this highly technical conference for just the right mixture of practical tools, regulatory trend overviews, emerging technologies, and product case studies. Bioassay scientists are intensifying their use of new technologies. Quality by design validations are becoming common, with statistical tools implemented during development, and cells are being developed for single-use applications. This is the must-attend event for bioassay professionals who want to keep up with these changes — where scientists gather to discuss how to overcome…

What’s in a Game?

Not long ago, I was playing the popular board game Snakes and Ladders (also known as Chutes and Ladders) with my son. Based on an ancient Indian board game, it has over the years become a worldwide classic. The game is rather simple to play: Two or more players place their tokens on a game board that has numbered, gridded squares. They take turns rolling a single die to move their tokens by the number indicated by the die, following…

Streamlining Cell Therapy Manufacture

    The cell therapy industry (CTI) is no longer a cottage industry; it is a distinct and sustainable component of the global healthcare sector (1). Today, CTI prospects are strong, with annual revenues exceeding US$1 billion/year, supported by improving investor sentiment and public support (1,–3). The next phase of CTI growth — toward a multibillion-dollar global industry — will depend on the biomanufacturing community innovating to meet growing market demands and providing products at affordable costs to healthcare payers.…

Biopharmaceutical and Medical Device Compliance

Almost every aspect of the biopharmaceutical and medical device industries raises regulatory compliance concerns. Heightened scrutiny is required across product lifecycles — from clinical trials to manufacturing, pricing, formulary placement, and promotional practices. Those areas (as well as patient privacy and adverse event reporting) require close attention to and compliance with healthcare laws, regulations, and guidelines. Part 1 of this two-part article describes statutes, regulations, and guidances applicable to the biopharmaceutical and medical device industries. Anti-Kickback and False Claim Laws…

Meeting Lot-Size Challenges of Manufacturing Adherent Cells for Therapy

    Adherent cells such as adult primary cell lines and human multipotent (MSCs) and pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) present a manufacturing challenge as lot sizes increase from 109 (billions) to 1012 (trillions) cells (1). Typically, manufacturing platforms are good for one log of expansion. So new methods will be required to achieve commercially relevant lot sizes. Traditional two-dimensional culture methods have been used to grow anchorage-dependent cell types. Although such methods are reliable and well defined, they are very…

Current Issues in Assuring Virological Safety of Biopharmaceuticals

The weakest link in the chain is also the strongest. It can break the chain.— Stanislaw Jerzy Lec, Polish writer, poet and satirist (1906–1966) Biologicals ushered in a new era for treating debilitating and life-threatening illnesses. According to a Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) 2011 report, more than 900 biotech medicines and vaccines are in development that are targeting more than 100 diseases (1). Market researchers expect annual sales of biologics (now at about US$100 billion) to grow…

Mastering Industrialization of Cell Therapy Products

    Incomes currently generated by the global cell therapy market are estimated to be ~US$400 million. That value represents 10 main products, some of which have been on the market since the late 1990s (e.g., Dermagraft and Apligraf, with >$100 million yearly revenues each). Cell therapy product revenues are low compared with those of the biopharmaceutical market (~$100 billion). But the market’s growth potential and clinical pipeline are leading to higher expectations. The sector’s compound annual growth rate (CAGR),…

Ten Years of Manufacturing

Our “manufacturing” theme could be considered a sort of catch-all, encompassing much of what BioProcess International covers. You could argue that “the whole development process” is all about manufacturing biotherapeutics. But we instead consider this “pillar” of bioprocessing to include everything that isn’t strictly “upstream” (production) or “downstream” (processing) of biomolecules. Facility and supply-chain isssues come into play here, as do formulation and fill–finish (and of course, outsourcing). We discuss quality systems and their associated analytics in this context, as…

Meeting Regulatory Challenges for Cell-Based Therapies

    Many companies follow a general rule when assembling regulatory packages for presenting new biologics: Accentuate the aspects of your new biologic that mimic approved therapies. For companies working on cell-based therapies, however, that is a challenging task. The industry lacks established models, and the current European Medicines Agency (EMA) regulatory definition of a cell-based therapy is simply “an advanced therapy medicinal product” (ATMP) (see EMA guidance box). Regulations for cell therapies cannot always be compared directly with those…

Emerging Challenges in Cell Therapy Manufacturing

    The introduction of recombinant proteins and monoclonal antibody (MAb) products revolutionized the treatment of many diseases, including diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, cardiac disease, and cancer. These highly specific biologic therapies provide patients with life- saving approaches that are not possible with small molecules. MAbs in particular are a unique class of biopharmaceutical products that interact with and activate components of the immune system to provide such therapeutic benefits as tumor destruction by antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity…