2010

How Geography Affects the Cost of Biomanufacturing

    As the biopharmaceutical industry undergoes restructuring, its focus shifts to the efficiency of drug development and overall costs of delivering affordable medicines. A question often raised concerns the manufacture of drug substances overseas to tap into a cheaper manufacturing base (1). There are many issues to consider when looking at overseas locations, such as intellectual property (IP), the availability of skilled labor, and the emergence of new markets. The situation is more complex with biopharmaceuticals because the products…

Minimizing Costs and Process Times with Local Biomanufacturing

For a growing number of biopharmaceutical companies, the world is getting smaller. They are operating in smaller, more flexible facilities; servicing potentially smaller markets; and managing local products. Local manufacturers are looking for ways of doing standard processing less expensively without making changes that carry regulatory risk. Most of these facilities are vaccine manufacturing sites. The upsurge in localized diseases and need for global pandemic preparedness (especially under uncertain capacities) have countries such as Malaysia, India, China, and Brazil pushing…

Fluorescence-Activated Cell Sorting for CGMP Processing of Therapeutic Cells

    Cell therapy using embryonic or adult stem cells for regenerative medicine is generating high interest in the global medical community and in the general population.Physicians and patients are looking to cell therapies as potentially curative treatments for diseases such as diabetes, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson’s disease, Graft versus Host disease (GvHD), and cancer. Cell-based therapeutic products have been administered in clinics for nearly 90 years in the form of blood transfusions and for 50 years in the…

Biomanufacturing Locally, Thinking Globally

    Compared with other business sectors, the biopharmaceutical industry has been a high-tech laggard when it comes to outsourcing and off-shoring. That’s changing as companies acknowledge the strategic, cost, and market benefits. Over the past seven years of tracking outsourcing trends (1), I’ve seen interest in outsourcing grow, but that has kicked into high gear over the past couple years. Partly due to the economic and funding crisis and partly as a result of industry maturation, outsourcing is taking…

I’m Losing Cell Viability and Function at Different Points in My Process, and I Don’t Know Why!

    Development of cell and tissue therapies presents bottlenecks in manufacturing process development and scale-up as commercial and academic groups move from small-scale research and development (R&D) to more complex logistics. Often, the simplicity of maintaining cell yield, viability, and function in a laboratory setting cannot be replicated when source tissue and final therapeutic products are subjected to the extended distances and times of actual clinical delivery. These bottleneck issues have a number of causes. One specific and common…

Navigating the Logistics of Local Biomanufacturing

    As much as one-third of the world’s population lacks access to essential medicines, and in the poorest regions of Africa and Asia, this figure rises to one-half (1). Along with other organizations, Medicins sans Frontieres (MSF, Doctors Without Borders) advocate for a combination of global and regional policies to lower drug prices sustainably, including local drug manufacturing. At this year’s annual meeting of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), during a session on building vaccine capacity in developing countries,…

Global Marketplace

Bioreactor Scale-Up Product: Micro-24 MicroReactor system Applications: Early stage microbial process development Features: With Pall Corporation’s acquisition of California-based MicroReactor Technologies, Inc. in January 2010, Pall Life Sciences offers the Micro-24 system. It features a disposable 24-reactor cassette, each reactor with fully independent control of temperature, pH, and dissolved oxygen. The miniature bioreactors enable rapid, high-throughput process development with accurately scalable results. The systems simulate the performance of stirred-tank bioreactors from bench (1–20 L) up to 200,000 L. Contact Pall…

Challenges in Developing an Infrastructure Strategy

    The idea of “thinking globally, but manufacturing locally” to each market is relatively new to the biopharmaceutical industry. As I mentioned in Chapter 2, vaccine makers are more familiar with the concept already. But many technological and economic factors are making other companies aware of this option. Offshoring clinical trials has been of great interest in the pharmaceutical industry for years now. Is it more cost-effective to make clinical materials “here” and ship them “there”— or to make…

Global Marketplace

Stem Cell Harvesting Product: CellCelector stem cell picker Applications: Stem cell projects Features: Through its distribution agreement with AVISO GmbH, TAP offers the CellCelector automated stem cell picker to the US, Canadian, Irish, and UK markets. The noninvasive system automates selection and harvesting of murine and human stem cells to reduce associated time and costs in research and development. Lifelike images of cells before harvest allow users to document and standardize the quality of cells chosen. The system compliments TAP’s…

IBC’s Seventh Annual Single-Use Applications for Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing

Many companies are adopting single-use technologies. This program begins with a workshop that showcases the cutting-edge implementation experience of CMOs and start-up companies. The complete program includes the latest case studies and strategies for single-use bioprocessing, including development of a fully disposable downstream train, disposable bioreactors and sensors, and other components. Validation for applications involving the reduction of extractables, leachables, endotoxins, particles, and other risk factors will be explained. A shared session with the colocated vaccine conference gives an in-depth…