September 2010

Containment of High-Potency Products in a GMP Environment

Many modern medicines are highly potent, with only tiny doses required to achieve a therapeutic effect. But a nanomolar medicine poses extra hazards during manufacturing, whether the product is a biologic or a small molecule. These issues have to be evaluated and addressed in the design of a manufacturing facility for such products. Not only is it vital that the product not become contaminated, but employees and the general public must be protected from the product. Exposure to just a…

Recovery and Purification

    Downstream processing can be complex, expensive, and time-consuming part of biotherapeutics production. Biomanufacturers are seeking technologies to clear bottlenecks and incorporate rapid in-or at-line analytics. Data obtained from using these methods under a well established design space can then help companies better characterize, monitor, and control their processes. The BioProcess International Conference and Exhibition features a Recovery and Purification track over three days, 22–24 September 2010, that will cover these issues and provide attendees with the information needed…

10 Steps for Choosing a Contract Manufacturer

    For many young companies, choosing a contract manufacturing organization (CMO) for their lead pharmaceutical candidate is critical. Choose the wrong contractor, and you could be faced with delays and cost overruns — and little sympathy from investors or patients. With so much on the line, how should you make this important decision? It doesn’t need to be based on instinct alone or on overanalysis. With the right set of tools, selecting a CMO doesn’t require endless investigation, and…

Cell Culture and Production

    Time to market, cost of goods, and reduction of financial risk are major challenges in protein manufacturing. Process intensification can help biotech companies achieve their goals. Already underway in several other industries, implementing this concept shrinks production facility sizes by 10–1,000 times using novel processes and products (e.g., single-use and isolator technologies in biotechnology) to reduce capital and operating costs. The results can be safer, more energy-efficient, and environmentally sustainable manufacturing processes. For example, Gerben Zijlstra (senior scientist…

Putting It All into Perspective

    As part of The Automation Partnership’s “20 Years of Automated Cell Culture” series, science writer Sue Pearson interviewed Dr. John Birch, the chief scientific officer of biopharmaceuticals for Lonza Custom Manufacturing APIS based in Slough, UK. Birch has been with that company since 1996, Before that, he held senior technical positions at Tate and Lyle, GD Searle, and Celltech. Birch has a PhD in microbiology from London University, where he also spent a period lecturing before moving into…

Product Lifecycle Management

    Biopharmaceutical manufacturers have often explored the idea of real-time process control and monitoring — but until relatively recently, few case studies were available to help put all the information together in a coherent plan for true product lifecycle management. Shifting from previous BPI Conference programs that included a “scale-up” track, this year’s lifecycle track will reflect how companies are being encouraged to view development, design, and manufacturing as a continuum rather than (more “traditionally”) as a set of…

Influence of Process Development Decisions on Manufacturing Costs

    As we have discussed, cost has not always featured highly during bioprocess development, in which traditionally the focus was on product quality, regulatory compliance, and speed to generate material for the clinic (1). As the industry matures in commercializing successful products, increasing competition (both from competing products and biosimilars) leads to issues of cost and manufacturability coming to the fore. Solutions adopted will depend on each organization: At one extreme are small biotech companies developing novel therapeutic proteins;…

Speeding Vaccine Development and Production

    With infusions of public and private venture capital as well as technological advances, vaccine development is entering a new golden age as one of the fastest growing sectors in the biotechnology industry. In the 19th and 20th centuries, immunization programs eliminated or controlled infectious diseases including smallpox, polio, measles, mumps, and rubella. The biotech era has made significant changes both in the number of companies involved in vaccine manufacture and the production systems they use. BPI CONFERENCE SESSIONS…