September 2008

Reducing Microbial Contamination Risk in Biotherapeutic Manufacturing

The risk of contamination (especially microbiological) is always an area for special attention in biopharmaceutical processes. No matter the process stage, whether upstream of a bioreactor or in the final filling of a sterile product, effective contamination control continues to be a critical requirement, so any opportunities for improvement may justify further investigation. Even with established validated processes, demands for higher purity and increased sterility assurance may require manufacturers to reassess their procedures and technologies. New processes present an even…

Higher-Order Structure Comparison of Proteins Derived from Different Clones or Processes

Biological product manufacture is a complex process that constantly evolves throughout the lifecycle of each product even after its approval. A number of constraints (such as increased yield, scale-up, or a need for greater purity) can necessitate the redesign or optimization of a given process. Heterogeneity of a biopharmaceutical product at the beginning of its shelf life comes from inherent variations in its production process that lead to various forms of posttranslational modifications and degradation products. Clearly, the foremost aim…

Third International

Over the past 25 years, the biopharmaceutical industry has transformed itself from a largely R&D enterprise to a global product economy with rapidly growing sales and regulatory approvals worldwide. Some 125 new biologics are expected to hit the market in the next 10 years. This transition from R&D to manufacturing has placed an enormous strain on existing biomanufacturing expertise and production capacity. India presents a huge opportunity for biopharm companies trying to meet this challenge with its competitive labor cost,…

Poster Presentations

Production and Economics Friedrich Nachtmann, head of biotech cooperations in biopharmaceuticals at Sandoz GmbH NAFT: Npro Autoprotease Fusion Technology Microbial expression systems play an important role in the biopharmaceutical industry. A robust, scalable, and well-understood process, reduced development times, and competitive costs are requirements for successful manufacturing. In cooperation with the Austrian Center of Biopharmaceutical Technology, Sandoz has developed a platform Escherichia coli expression technology that provides high expression levels and rapid process development for a broad range of peptides…

Biotech Facilities Average a Batch Failure Every 40.6 Weeks

Gathering information about batch failure rates in the biopharmaceutical industry is about as easy as getting politicians to talk about their most embarrassing gaffes and indiscretions. Although it comes as no surprise that batches do fail, some readers may be surprised at how relatively well many organizations appear to be performing. Based on the results of our recently released annual report and survey (1), facilities are experiencing batch failures at an average rate of about one every nine months (40.6…

The Orphan Drug Program

It’s been a quarter-century since the Orphan Drug Act became law in 1983. An orphan drug is any therapeutic, vaccine, or blood product that treats a rare disease or condition (one with fewer than 200,000 US patients). Such drugs may be new products or those already approved for other diseases but discovered to treat a rare disease. Drug sponsors must apply for orphan drug designation through the US FDA (1). Similiar status may be obtained in Europe through the EMEA’s…

Multicolumn Chromatography

Downstream processing is a sequence of unit process operations that purify biopharmaceuticals and prepare them primarily for bulk formulation (Figure 1). Typically, a large volume (hundreds to thousands of liters containing kilograms of therapeutic protein) is delivered from an upstream fermentation or cell culture process — and this ends up as a small volume (a few liters) of purified concentrate product after processing. Figure 1: () For many years, biopharmaceutical manufacturers have been working to increase capacity, address upstream production…

Products, Services, and Literature

Automated Welding Product: M200 orbital welding system Application: Welding power supply Features: The orbital welding system M200 power supply offers ease of use, portability, and 200 amp capability, all at a weight of less than 50 lbs (23 kg). A high-resolution, 12.1-in. (307-mm) color industrial touch screen gives users a simple, intuitive pathway to enter weld programs. Users can choose from one of three forms to enter weld programs, including automatic weld schedule programming. Contact: Swagelok Company www.swagelok.com RNA Purification…

Manufacturing Patient-Specific Cell Therapy Products

Several cellular therapies are currently progressing through clinical development with the potential to address unmet medical needs affecting millions of patients. As cell-based therapeutics receive regulatory approval and reach the market, the primary challenge will quickly become manufacturing such products in sufficient volume to meet demand. Aastrom Biosciences has developed tissue-repair cell (TRC) technology for use in autologous, patient-specific cellular therapy (PSCT) and is conducting late-stage clinical trials both in the United States and Europe. TRCs are derived from a…

An Inoculum Expansion Process for Fragile Recombinant CHO Cell Lines

Development of robust inoculum expansion procedures from cell banks is crucial to successful upstream manufacturing processes. Typically, vial thaw and cell culture expansion processes follow well-established procedures. Certain recombinant cell lines, however, need extra attention and development efforts to optimize conditions for robust and reproducible vial thaw and further subculturing. Difficulties in thawing frozen cells might be clone specific or could originate from suboptimal conditions during freezing. Such conditions might not be known initially and could need further optimization at…