Author Archives: Maribel Rios

Singapore

Begin a discussion about Singapore, and most likely the word hub enters the conversation. This small country is giving a full-force effort into earning a reputation for being the technical, financial services, and industrial center of the Asia–Pacific region. Its gross domestic product (GDP) per capita (~$57,200 in 2010) is comparable with most Western developed countries. Like South Korea, India, and China, Singapore aims to grow its market share in the biosimilars sector. The difference, however, says Pete Gagnon (CSO…

China’s New Five-Year Plan

    In October 2010, the Communist Party of China’s Central Committee approved its 12th Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development (FYP) (2011–2015), which it ratified on 14 March 2011. During those five years, China will continue to focus on government-guided economic development, industry, and technology. The FYP outlines the government’s commitment toward reforming its economy and increasing its domestic consumption to decrease its dependence on exports for future growth of its gross domestic product (GDP). Other initiatives…

India

    India is well known as a key destination for bioprocess outsourcing and a major supplier of active pharmaceutical ingredients and raw materials. The global pharmaceuticals manufacturing outsourcing industry is expected to reach US$100 billion by 2015 (1). India has the potential to capture 8–10% of this industry by 2015 and become one of the top 10 global markets by value (2). By comparison, India’s biotechnology industry (consisting of biopharmaceuticals as well as other sectors) has gained global attention…

Optimizing Cryopreservation for Therapeutic Cells

    Biopreservation suppresses degradation and enables postpreservation recovery of structure, viability, and function. Although there are several biopreservation techniques (indicated in “Biopreservation Methods” box), most laboratories use either standard cryopreservation protocols (the far majority) or vitrification (much more limited in broad systems application) when freezing cells for research and clinical applications. Isopropanol freezing containers such as the Mr. Frosty device from Nalgene Labware have made cryopreservation easier in many applications, and controlled-rate freezers allow users to program and manipulate…

Successful Commercialization Through Industry Collaboration

    Nearly a year ago, the International Society for Cell Therapies (ISCT) decided to integrate industry into its organization to build a stronger platform for commercializing therapies. Robert Deans, vice president of regenerative medicine at Athersys, was invited to serve as a leader of ISCT’s Industry Task Force, which aimed to identify industry roles in its organization. Within two months, the task force invited industry members and chartered a white paper (1) that described how ISCT should go forward.…

Technologies on the Cutting Edge

    On the brink of bringing exciting new therapies to commercialization, cell therapy developers are taking notice of how other companies are addressing processing and technical challenges. Here, leaders from Dendreon, Advanced BioHealing, and Pluristem describe their current cell therapy programs. And two organizations —the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine (ARM) and McLaughlin–Rotman Center for Global Health —provide details on the promises of regenerative medicine.   Cellular Immunotherapy   Dendreon’s Provenge (sipuleucel-T) cell therapy induces an immune response to aid…

Industry Roundtable

    With one eye on commercialization and the other on monitoring every-day challenges, cell therapy manufacturers are asking critical questions about process efficiency, ensuring quality, and satisfying regulatory demands. In this “virtual” roundtable discussion (participants were asked questions separately), cell therapy industry representatives answer key questions in hopes of broadening understanding about this new class of biopharmaceuticals. Participants in this roundtable are Timothy Fong, PhD (director cell therapy, Becton Dickinson Biosciences), Annemarie Moseley, PhD, MD (CEO, Repair Technologies), Firman…

Industry Educational Platforms Drive Commercialization Objectives

    Within the International Society for Cellular Therapy’s (ISCT’s) Industry Commercialization committee, Tracey Lodie, director of immunology and stem cell biology at Genzyme, chairs the Industry Education subcommittee, which was established in May 2010. In an interview with BPI, she described the subcommittee’s objectives and how they tie into the manufacturing, testing, and commercialization challenges for cellular therapies.   Reducing the Risk   “ISCT is working toward becoming an informational hub, acting as a resource to de-risk cell therapy…

Combination Products for Biotherapeutics

    Combination products (see the “Definition” box) are experiencing steady growth in the pharmaceutical industry. According to one report, about 30% of products currently in development are combination products (1). Expanding interest in such products can be attributed to manufacturers’ need to generate new market value for current products that will soon lose patent, requirements for long-term patient care, pressure to reduce healthcare costs, and consumer interest in localized drug delivery with improved therapeutic effectiveness (2). During the 2008…

Working Toward Animal-Free Processing

    Biological therapeutics is one of the fastest growing segments of the pharmaceutical industry — so much in fact that the overall cell culture media and supplements market used in bioprocessing applications is reportedly near $800 million (1). An increasingly important trend in cell culture is risk reduction throughout the supply chain, including a stringent focus on key raw materials. Accordingly, the industry has increasingly adopted animal-component-free materials to mitigate concerns over safety, transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, and other contaminations.…