October 2009

50 Years of Sephadex Media

It has been 50 years since the first Sephadex paper was published (1). Readers of BioProcess International work in a field that was fundamentally affected by what happened after that paper appeared in 1959. So this anniversary is certainly worthy of a party and a few speeches. But there are lessons to be learned, too. Here we take a look at threads connecting events before and after the discovery of gel filtration chromatography and introduction of the Sephadex product. Interdisciplinary…

Large-Scale Freezing of Biologics

Production of biologics is an expensive process, and to optimize capacity use, bulk protein solution is often produced in manufacturing campaigns. It is converted into drug product based on market demand and therefore may have to be stored for relatively long periods. To decouple the bulk solution production from that of the final drug product, bulk is often stored frozen. Transport of frozen bulk product between sites offers several practical advantages over its transport in the liquid state (2–8 °C).…

Investigating Flow Distribution and Its Effects on Scale-Up

Depth filtration is widely used in the biopharmaceutical industry to purify target proteins by removing whole cells, cellular debris, fines, aggregates, and colloidal particles from the fermentation broth (1,2). At large scale (>2,000 L), culture harvest from a bioreactor is typically processed with a disc-stack centrifuge to remove cells and cell debris. Although centrifugation is very effective for removing whole cells and larger debris, it cannot remove small-size particles, which remain suspended in the centrate. Depth filters are commonly used…

Interest in Hollow-Fiber Perfusion Bioreactors Is Growing

People who regularly culture animal cells become so comfortable with standard techniques that novel approaches can seem contrived or even unnatural. However, the typical cycle of seeding cells at very low density in an excess of medium and harvesting (often quite aggressively) just before the point of medium exhaustion is quite an unphysiologic process. Popular culture systems often take cells that originally grew attached to a porous matrix at high densities, with little variability in nutrient and oxygen supply, and…

A Practical Method for Resolving the Nucleation Problem in Lyophilization

Given the prevalence of lyophilization and the growing pipeline of sensitive biological drugs requiring stabilization, pharmaceutical development and manufacturing personnel need complete, reproducible control over the operation, scale-up, and transfer of their lyophilization processes. To address the nucleation problem, Praxair has developed a step-change technology that adds consistent control to the freezing step of lyophilization. This low-capital, plug-and-play option can be readily implemented on most existing freeze-dryers with minor equipment additions and controls integration. Adoption of the technology requires no…

Global Marketplace

Contamination Control Product: Endosafe-PTS glucan assay Applications: Biopharmaceutical process validation Features: The Endosafe-PTS glucan assay is a rapid test designed to help companies validate that products are free of (1,3)-β-D glucans. Glucans contaminate cell culture fluids, yeast protein production, air quality samples, and cellulose filter preparations. Glucans can cause false positive results in LAL assays. The Endosafe-PTS glucan cartridges have a sensitivity range of 10–1,000 pg/mL, yield results in

Promoting Discussion in the Biopharmaceutical Community

The Biopharmaceutical Emerging Best Practices Association (BEBPA) hit the scene in September 2008 with its inaugural Bioassay Conference in Berlin, Germany. A not-for-profit association, BEBPA (www.bebpa.org) is managed by the biopharmaceutical scientific community for the benefit of the biopharmaceutical scientific community: companies, regulators, and clinicians. BEBPA provides an open international forum for the presentation and discussion of scientific issues and problems encountered in the biopharmaceutical community. The purpose of this open discussion is to promote development of innovative approaches and…

The Need for a New Process

Surveying BPI readers’ experiences SANJA GJENERO (WWW.SXC.HU) Better, faster, safer: The current drug-development “paradigm” emerging from the FDA is pushing for innovations that reduce process inefficiency and cost. The plethora of new risk-based methodologies include tools being developed as process-analytical-technology (PAT) tools within the encircling parameters of a process design space. All this parallels (and drives) some predictions that the biotechnology industry has seen the last of its blockbuster models, as predictive genomic tools enable personalized approaches to therapeutic development.…

Shrinking the Costs of Bioprocess Development

Process development for large-scale bioproduction is generally more labor-intensive, time-consuming, and expensive than for comparable nonbiological processes because of the large number of individual processes and potential variables involved. To ensure the future commercial viability of biological manufacturing processes and prevent bottlenecks, it is essential to accelerate development of both upstream and downstream processing, as well as to improve process analytics. This not only reduces time and cost factors involved in design of robust bioprocessing protocols, but also reduces the…

DoE Helps Optimize a Cell Culture Bioproduction System

    Typical serum-free culture media used in bioprocessing can have 60–90 components at differing concentrations to feed a single cell line. Media used to grow different cell lines for bioprocessing applications may each require unique optimal chemical formulations. Adding complexity, optimal process conditions such as pH and stirring rate may also differ from cell line to cell line depending on the unique characteristics of process performance. To tackle all those variables, we at Invitrogen Corporation of Carlsbad, CA (www.invitrogen.com/pddirect)…