2012

The Dinosaurs Can Evolve

    Barring fire, major earthquakes, or volcanic catastrophe, concrete is good for centuries — the Pantheon has been in continuous use since 126 AD. The long expected life and high initial cost of biomanufacturing buildings and equipment builds legacy into the system from the start. And the imperatives of launching a new biotechnology industry in the 1980s led to the building of many facilities within a few years to produce the first wave of recombinant DNA products. I spoke…

Participating in the Rx-360 Pilot Joint Audit Program

    The Rx-360 consortium has had a profoundly positive impact on pharmaceutical manufacturers and their suppliers. As an international, nonprofit, pharmaceutical supply chain group (established in 2009), its mission is to “create and monitor a global quality system that meets the expectations of industry and regulators that assures patient safety by enhancing product quality and authenticity throughout the supply chain” (1). The list of consortium members (www.rx-360.org/Membership/ListofMembers/tabid/71/Default.aspx) is diverse and presently includes both pharmaceutical manufacturers and suppliers (24 and…

The Global Cold Chain

In biopharmaceutical development, ancillary business operations such as logistics and supply chain management are frequently perceived as secondary objectives to the ultimate goal of discovering treatments and cures for devastating diseases. However, in the hypercompetitive world of drug development, forward-thinking companies have found that optimizing their clinical-trial supply chain can provide a strategic advantage to accelerating drug development. The globalization of clinical research has made the safe, punctual, and compliant transport of study drugs and other temperature-sensitive materials increasingly complex.…

Toward Nonantibody Platforms

Monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) remain the largest segment of the biopharmaceutical market, but they are not the only recombinant proteins in development. Remember that the first biopharmaceutical approved for sale was recombinant insulin — a hormone — back in the 1980s. And proteins aren’t the only recombinant biologics. The sector has expanded since then to include gene therapies and viral vectors, vaccines, and even cells and tissues. Companies around the world are developing such products for cancer, neurological, infectious disease, metabolic,…

Polysorbates, Immunogenicity, and the Totality of the Evidence

    Protein aggregation underlies many deleterious effects for biotherapeutics. Principal among those are loss of efficacy, induction of unwanted immunogenicity, altered pharmacokinetics, and reduced shelf life. Consequently, aggregation-preventing surfactants are essential components of many protein formulations. They facilitate the development, manufacture, and stability of dosage forms by helping formulators manage protein aggregation and reduce interactions with container and delivery device surfaces. Monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) present difficulties with respect to aggregation because they usually require relatively high doses for therapeutic…

Carrier Protein Outsourcing

    Vaccines represent a significant, increasing area of product development within the biopharmaceutical industry. The segment includes several blockbuster commercial products, nearly 300 vaccines currently in development, and many more candidates in various stages of research and preclinical development (1). The 2010 worldwide vaccine market was ~US$20 billion and is projected to approach $30 billion by 2015 (2). Conjugate vaccines sales currently exceed $7 billion and are expected to increase substantially. Conjugate vaccines (covalently linked polysaccharide and protein) have…

Attaining Next-Level Titers in CHO Fed-Batch Cultures

    Taking full advantage of high cell-specific productivity of recombinant proteins requires use of robust fed-batch processes involving addition of one or more concentrated nutrient solutions. Proportionately large amounts of concentrated nutrient supplements are often needed to support the stoichiometrically balanced metabolic requirements of high-density cell cultures. Large feed additions ultimately dilute the final product at harvest, but attempts to minimize feed volumes often lead to multiple concentrated acidic and basic subgroups. Those impart additional complexity to manufacturing processes.…

Prior-Knowledge Assessments

    Process characterization (PC) studies are experiments performed primarily at laboratory scale to demonstrate process robustness and provide data necessary for planning, risk mitigation, and successful execution of process validation (1, 2). These typically involve extensive, multifactorial testing designed to determine the effects of operational parameter perturbations and raw materials on process performance and product quality (1, 2). Product-specific information from development studies may be used to help guide PC study design; however, such information may be limited or…

Regenerative Medicine

    The year 2011 may be seen as one in which regenerative medicine entered its adolescence. Public attention — from investors to desperate patients — finally turned toward this nascent industry with something other than skepticism or unrealistic expectations. The FDA’s approval of Dendreon’s Provenge cellular immunotherapy switched on the spotlight, and cell therapy companies suddenly faced a barrage of questions about cost, manufacturing issues, product development, and patient access. US Policy: In May 2011, US representatives Brian Bilbray…

A New Kinetic Structured Model for Cell Cultivation in a Chemostat

    Mathematically modeling the kinetics of batch and continuous cultivation allows you to not only calculate and evaluate the effects of process parameters, but also to forecast those parameters and duration of cultivation to develop a cost-effective production process. Mathematical modeling microorganism cultivation was intensively developed in the second half of the last century. Equations 1–6: ()   Monod proposed Equation 1 for batch processes in 1942 (1). In that equation, µ and µmax are the specific and maximum…