Sunday, December 1, 2013 Daily Archives

Reviewing Bioindustry’s Economic Year in 2013

This month, managing editor Maribel Rios discusses the financial state of the bioindustry with Howard Levine, founder, president, and principal consultant of BioProcess Technology Consultants. The industry is facing new opportunities for sales growth not only in the United States and Europe, but also in emerging markets such as those in Brazil, Russia, India, and China (the “BRIC” nations). Some of that growth comes from an increasing pipeline of biosimilars driven by the patent expiration of some major blockbuster biotherapies.…

Successful Sterilization Using Chlorine Dioxide Gas

In an audiocast with managing editor Maribel Rios, an author looks back on his report of a unique cleaning method from BPI’s first year over a decade ago. Amnon Eylath (senior director of quality assurance at Genzyme, formerly of Amgen) discusses the two-part 2003 article, “Successful Sterilization Using Chlorine Dioxide Gas.” (Read Part 1 or Part 2 ) That article described Amgen’s development of a process for disinfecting the surfaces of an isolator and process vessels using chlorine dioxide (CD)…

Separation of Monoclonal Antibody (mAb) Monomer from its Half-body using Size Exclusion Chromatography

Recent research has shown an interest in mAb half-bodies as therapeutic vectors as they can be further targeted for conjugation, enzyme labeling, or antibody immobilization. The TSKgel SuperSW mAb HR is able to achieve high resolution between the mAb monomer, the mAb half-body, and fragments due to its unique pore-controlled technology optimized for mAb analysis, as well as its smaller 4 μm particle size.

Responding to Life Sciences Manufacturing Industry Guidance

Increasingly, life science manufacturing companies are applying technology to meet quality by design (QbD) goals. Organizations collect overflowing volumes of process data as part of programs designed to improve manufacturing variability and outcomes. Collecting valuable data is now an everyday task thanks to available software and process analytical technology (PAT) tools. The industry today, in fact, has focused so much on gathering data that it often has lost sight of an important fact: Data collection systems are valuable only if…

Cost-Effectiveness and Robustness Evaluation for Biomanufacturing

As the biotech sector has matured, it has come under increasing economic and regulatory pressures for continuous improvement in both drug development and manufacturing. As a result, assessing the value potential of alternative strategies has become critical to decision-making in areas such as bioprocess and facility design, capacity sourcing, and portfolio selection. Related decisions typically involve large cash expenditures and thus have a direct bearing on the feasibility of business units and whole companies. Figure 1:  () Making such decisions…

A Global Joint Venture Strategy for Biosimilars Development

In April 2013, biopharmaceutical company Pfenex (San Diego, CA) announced a joint venture with biologics manufacturer Stelis Biopharma, Inc. (“Stelis”), earlier known as Agila Biotech, (a wholly owned subsidiary of Strides Arcolab Limited (Bangalore, India) for the commercial development of six biosimilars. The companies will also leverage technology and global development expertise from GE Healthcare Life Sciences (Uppsala, Sweden) and Bio-XCell Malaysia (Nusajaya, Malaysia). Such international, multicompany collaboration strategies have become a growing trend in the highly competitive biosimilars industry.…

A Sustainable, Single-Use Facility for Monoclonal Antibody Production

Pierre Fabre, the second largest independent pharmaceutical group in France, recently opened a new facility to expand its monoclonal antibody (MAb) production for clinical supply. The Antibody Biotechnology Unit (ABU) facility was designed to provide needed flexibility for adapting to various process and capacity changes, so it includes state-of-the-art single-use technologies. The facility was also built with sustainability in mind to minimize the company’s environmental footprint. The company integrated this plant into an existing antibody research and development (R&D) center,…

How to Hit a Moving Target

Although multiple factors can compromise the drug-like properties of biological molecules, we are still at a very early stage in learning how to assess them. This is despite — or perhaps more correctly, because of — the pharmaceutical industry’s accelerating drive to develop biological molecules as therapeutic agents. And I say “we” because this applies not only to the biopharmaceutical industry itself and the analytical instrument companies that serve it, but also those charged with regulating it. We are all…

Enabling Technologies

    We hear a great deal lately about the maturation of the biopharmaceutical industry — and much advancement over the past decade or so has been in business models, financing, and product pipelines. Meanwhile, regulators around the world have become more well versed in the subject matter and have adjusted their approaches to and expectations from the industry. However, the practical side of developing, characterizing, and manufacturing biotherapeutic products cannot be overlooked — nor its importance overstated. Many technological…