Author Archives: Cheryl Scott

eBook: Microbial Fermentation — The Right Choice for Large Peptides and Small Proteins

Although animal cell culture has dominated the biopharmaceutical industry for some years now, microbial expression remains important for producing proteins that don’t require posttranslational modifications — or only those that prokaryotic microbes can perform. It also offers an affordable option for antibody fragments and gene therapies. Microbes may be less fragile than animal cells, and they do require simpler media, but they present other challenges related to temperature management and oxygen transfer in culture. Wherever practical, bacterial expression is preferred…

eBook: Peptide Therapies — Small Biomolecules Address Big Health Problems

This crash course in the development of peptide therapies brings together two articles: one on product research and the other on manufacturing and regulatory concerns. In “Fighting Alzheimer’s Disease from Within: A Breakthrough Peptide,” freelance journalist Marc Davis highlights current developments in Alzheimer’s disease treatment, focusing specifically on a peptide approach from Canadian company NervGen. In “Making Peptides Work,” BPI’s senior technical editor adds perspective on developing and manufacturing peptide therapies from the Informa Connect community, with commentary from experts…

From the Editor: January–February 2020

I’ve been enjoying the inevitable social-media debate over whether we’re starting a new decade now or next year. Editors adore that sort of thing — but as much as I love accuracy, I must admit that I’m in the “now” camp. Welcome to the ’20s, anyway, whether or not you think that’s equivalent to “the second decade of the new millennium.” We humans love patterns and milestones, so watching the odometer tick over always brings about a sense of nostalgia…

Bioassay Evolution: Finding Best Practices for Biopharmaceutical Quality Systems

Bioassays help drug developers determine the biological activity (potency) of their products, which has been a biopharmaceutical critical quality attribute (CQA) since long before that concept had a name. Because of their complex nature, bioassays are among of the most challenging experiments to perform reliably with dependably accurate results. Consistent assay performance requires a controlled environment and qualified reagents; skilled analysts who understand cell physiology, regulatory requirements, and the latest techniques; and assay protocols that are intelligently developed, characterized, and…

Challenges and Opportunities in CAR T-Cell Development and Manufacturing

Just about anyone in the biopharmaceutical industry will tell you that cost is now the primary concern in cell and gene therapy development. It hasn’t even been a decade since “manufacturability” was the main issue at hand — and cost has risen organically from related discussions. Regenerative medicine evolved from medical research rather than from drug-development companies, and technologies that worked in clinical settings haven’t translated directly to manufacturing facilities. Cost is often the problem. Early product successes (that ultimately…

Trends in Data Analytics As Organizations Undergo a Digital Transformation

The biopharmaceutical industry is in the midst of an exciting transformation as biologics experience massive growth — even outpacing the small-molecule segment (1). Biologics are predicted to comprise over a quarter of the pharmaceutical market in 2020 (2). At the same time, a plethora of new biologically derived therapy concepts — e.g., cell and gene therapies — are in development. Some biologics classes have become mainstream — e.g., monoclonal antibodies — with biosimilars entering the market and contract manufacturing organizations…

The Proof Is in the Data: Extractables and Leachables

Extractables and leachables (E&Ls) must be addressed in material and process validation programs. Extractables are compounds that can be extracted from a material in the presence of solvents with varying polarity under extreme conditions. Materials manufacturers should make extractables guides available to end users. Leachables are compounds that migrate from a material in the presence of an actual formulation under normal process operating conditions. Extractables information can be helpful as a basis for evaluation of potential process-equipment–related leachables (PERLs)testing. However,…

November–December 2019: From the Editor

Over a decade ago, the BioProcess International Conference and Exhibition was created by combining formerly separate IBC conferences on upstream, downstream, analytical, and manufacturing topics for the biopharmaceutical industry. They became tracks in the larger program that reflect the coverage of the magazine after which the event was named. Over time, US West, Asian, and European variations on the theme were added to our yearly calendar. And in the past few years, Biotech Week Boston has evolved by similarly bringing…

Launch of the First Vaccine Bioprocess Training Program: A Standardized but Flexible Course to Boost the Global Vaccine Industry

Based on the many forms that modern vaccines can take, their manufacturing is complicated. Unlike monoclonal antibodies (MAbs), vaccine manufacturers have no “template” platform to follow. Most vaccine producers develop their manufacturing processes from scratch, a prospect that can be challenging for small to mid-sized companies. Bioprocessing is the key challenge in vaccine manufacturing. Without a well-developed and understood process, a manufacturer will face serious challenges in commercial production: e.g., low yields, high costs, and difficulties in meeting quality standards.…

eBook: Addressing Production Complexities — Strategies for Working with Difficult and Susceptible Proteins

All proteins are complex — but some are more complex than others, particularly when it comes to recombinant protein expression and production in commercial quantities. What works in a research laboratory to make a milligram of pure protein for study won’t necessarily work on a manufacturing floor to make kilogram batches for drug-product formulation. An increasing number of technological options are available, however, from a simple switch in expression host or adding folding steps in downstream processing to special genetic…