March 2008

A New Era for Bioprocess Design and Control, Part 2

The level or intensity of product and process understanding that can or should be achieved beyond the acceptable minimum level promises to be the scope of a continuing debate among biotech industry and its regulators. In practice, the path of increased understanding may follow a series of incremental steps toward the desired state (Figure 1) after a product launch. Realistically that is expected to occur when the level of product and process understanding has reached or slightly exceeded the minimum…

Shared Risk

Risk is inversely proportional to one’s distance from a problem. For regulators, it seems straightforward to control biopharmaceutical and medical device risk. For pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device executives, however, risk is hardly so clearly defined; it extends, grows, twists, and compounds through a chain of suppliers, consultants, and business partners. So when regulatory officials claim that compliance accountability cannot be delegated, biopharmaceutical and medical device companies are left holding the bag. Years ago, as a C-level executive for a…

A New Era for Bioprocess Design and Control, Part 1

Elements of the biopharmaceutical industry’s new operating paradigm have inevitably created an immediate need to condense, interpret, and relate their implications to existing regulatory and industry practices. This also provides us with an opportunity to look at them in a broader context and in relationship to one another. Such a perspective may open up new directions in discussion on how design and control aspects of biopharmaceutical manufacturing are likely to evolve. These are exciting times for scientists, engineers, statisticians, quality…

The Biopharmaceutical Industry’s New Operating Paradigm

Currently the biopharmaceutical industry is transitioning to a new business model of production efficiency through implementing operational excellence (Op Ex). Borrowing from such principles as “lean manufacturing” and “Six Sigma” (6σ), and incorporating quality by design (QbD) (1), Op Ex is being applied through the implementation of such advanced enabling concepts and technologies as quality risk management (QRM) (2), process analytical technology (PAT) (3), and systems biology (SB) (4). Some people see a conflict here: This paradigm shift is occurring…

Throwing a Flag at Biosimilars

PHOTO COURTESY OF ROGER LUNDBLAD (PICTURED). When I officiated at high school (US) football, I learned a lot from the experience. Contrary to popular opinion, there are rule books referees study. However, although the rule book is modest in size, the case book for interpretations is large. This brings me to the topic of generic or follow-on biologicals and biosimilar products for which there will be rules, and the interpretations will be many. Continuing with the US football analogy, the…

IP Strategies to Combat Distribution of Counterfeit Drugs

Counterfeit products are no longer restricted to Gucci purses and Rolex watches. The pharmaceutical business has seen an alarming rise in the number of counterfeit products entering traditional distribution and supply chains. As a result, consumers can unknowingly purchase counterfeit pharmaceuticals from their local pharmacy and receive little or no therapeutic benefit, or worse, die as a result of ingesting counterfeit products. Pharmaceuticals are subject to counterfeiting in a number of ways. A counterfeit product may contain no active ingredient…

Biological Assay Development and Validation

IBC’s 16th annual Bioassay Conference is the meeting for learning about developing, qualifying, validating, and maintaining important biological assays. Come and discover the newest techniques for streamlining development and validation using easy-to-understand statistical approaches. Hear how other assay developers are accelerating their development plans and meeting aggressive timelines. Learn about use of the newest technology and regulatory trends to develop the right assay, at the right time, in the quickest possible way. After attending this conference, you will catapult your…

Products, Services, and Literature

Downstream Processing Product: SciPure 300 GMP production platform Applications: Tangential-flow filtration (TFF) Features: Revolutionary purification platform automates, documents, and analyzes any TFF application needed in a GMP environment. The user-friendly interface is built on the familiar Windows XP operating system and .NET framework; administrative users have easy access to and control over all process parameters, users, permissions, and recipes. The system logs all program variables and automatically maintains optimal TFF conditions through continuous data acquisition and precision control loops. Contact…

“Hitchhiker’s Guide” to Bioprocess Design

Acceptance criteria Numerical limits, ranges, or other suitable measures for acceptance of results from analytical procedures that a drug substance, drug product, or materials at other stages of their manufacture should meet (1). Numerical limits, ranges, process signatures, or other suitable measures that are necessary for making a decision to accept or reject the result of a process, in-process variable, a product, or any other convenient subgroups of manufactured units (2). Numerical limits, ranges, or other suitable measures for acceptance…

Taking the Next Step

Long-term hopes for stem cells to cure various diseases are nourished by the latest developments in stem cell research. First clinical studies have begun (Thera Vitae, Israel: congestive heart insufficiency), and patents have been filed (Stem Cell Therapeutics, Canada: combined regulation for the production of neural cells). Clinical use depends on technological requirements for a reproducible cultivation and controlled differentiation of cells in sufficient numbers, so more and more researchers are focusing on the scale-up of stem cell production. For…