Author Archives: Jim Kling

eBook: Oligos and mRNA — Manufacturing in Facilities Around the World

Three years ago, mRNA biotechnology was poised to provide just what the world needed to fight SARS-CoV-2. Researchers already had been working to develop nucleotide therapies for cancers and infectious disease, and the pandemic gave companies an immediate proving ground for speeding up development and demonstrating what such technology could accomplish. Capitalizing on the resulting success, developers of mRNA and related oligonucleotides now are looking to the future and addressing a number of manufacturing challenges to ensure widespread access to…

eBook: Bioreactor Sensors —
Inside the Dynamics of Cell Culture

Cell culture monitoring can fall into something like a “black box” conundrum. Efforts to measure key parameters such as pH, glucose, and even cell density require sampling and removal of the contents from a bioreactor. But that procedure can expose both a process and an operator to contamination risks. Emerging bioreactor sensors are designed to address some of those challenges, but the rapid adoption of single-use technologies and the rise of perfusion cell culture have presented obstacles to their implementation.…

eBook: Antibody–Drug Conjugates — Refining Product Designs for Improved Outcomes

Antibody–drug conjugates (ADCs) seek to partner the target specificity of antibodies with the cell-killing punch of chemotherapy drugs. Researchers identify antibodies that bind to proteins found predominantly or exclusively on the surfaces of cancer cells. The cells can absorb the ADC into their interiors, where the chemical environment or enzymes detach the drug from the antibody, freeing it to wreak havoc. Although nine ADCs have received US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or European Medicines Agency (EMA) approval (and many…

eBook: Cancer Vaccines ⁠— Innovation Fuels an Immunotherapy Renaissance

Despite early successes a decade ago, cancer vaccines designed to deliver peptides or proteins — or nucleic acids encoding those antigens — generally have fizzled out since then. As a result, cancer vaccine development and the field of immunotherapy lost some traction overall. But as freelance contributor Jim Kling describes in this eBook, new innovations in product design, testing, and manufacturing are fueling a renaissance in cancer vaccine development. From checkpoint inhibitors to neoantigens, immune regulators, and beyond, companies are…

Upstream Efficiencies, Economic Forces, and Changing Technologies Complicate Separation and Purification

When it comes to biotherapeutics manufacturing, downstream processing groups tend to get “dumped on.” Advances in cell lines, bioreactors, and culture media formulations have increased production output, providing both higher expression titers and greater volumes, but the filters and chromatography columns on the downstream side haven’t kept pace. These century-old technologies haven’t evolved as much and are reaching their limits. Regulatory agencies have contributed to innovation stagnation because they are cautious about manufacturing process changes for fear of undermining quality…

Highly Concentrated Protein Formulations: Finding Solutions for the Next Generation of Parenteral Biologics

Therapeutic protein formulation is no easy task. Biological drugs may be destined for prefilled syringes or glass vials, or they may be made into lyophilized powders that will be reconstituted in a clinical setting. No matter what their final state will be, recombinant proteins must remain potent and efficacious during storage. In recent years, pharmaceutical companies have turned increasingly to high-concentration protein formulations. Such drug formulations can offer patients the convenience of self-injection — instead of a trip to the…

PEGylation of Biologics

In the 1970s, life-science researchers envisioned protein therapeutics as the ultimate targeted therapy. Companies could use them to address genetic deficiencies and cancer, among other disease classes, as well as to nudge the immune system for treating autoimmune disorders. The first therapeutic proteins were derived from animal or microbial cells, so patients launched immune responses to them that could curtail their activity and produce dangerous side effects. PEGylation was initially used to prevent immune responses with such drugs. PEG is…