2013

In Vitro Functional Testing Methods for Monoclonal Antibody Biosimilars

The pressure to contain rising healthcare costs — combined with the number of innovator biologic drugs coming off patent (30 licensed biological drugs by 2015) — offers huge opportunities for developers of biosimilar products. In 2011, the global market size of the biosimilars industry was around US$2.5 billion. Global demand for such products — and monoclonal antibody (MAb) biosimilars, specifically — is estimated to grow at 8–17% from 2012 to 2016 (1). The advent of biosimilars should bring more affordable…

Comparability Protocols for Biotechnological Products

Comparability has become a routine exercise throughout the life cycle of biotechnological products. According to ICH Q5E, a comparability exercise should provide analytical evidence that a product has highly similar quality attributes before and after manufacturing process changes, with no adverse impact on safety or efficacy, including immunogenicity (1). Any doubt about data from such studies could translate into unforeseen pharmacological or nonclinical studies — or worse, clinical studies. Selection of analytical methods and acceptance criteria that will be applied…

Broadening the Baseline

When the editors of BPI asked us at BPSA to put together a content-rich article on single-use issues, we were happy to do so. Our challenge was how to bring in multiple viewpoints about the growing business of single-use that would be a “quick read” for the BPI audience. The answer: an expert colloquy. Represented here are several of the most qualified industry spokespersons in single-use — all are members of BPSA and speak as directors of the alliance. Their…

“Transformation By Infection”

Every bioprocess begins with an expression system, and every expression system begins with DNA transfection. Derived from transformation and infection, the word paradoxically has come to be applied mainly to nonviral methods of genetically engineering cells; viral-vector–mediated DNA transfer is often called transduction. There are chemical, particulate, physical/mechanical, and viral means of getting new genetic material into a cell, and that DNA may take a number of different forms. Even the cloning method (pictured right) using a microscopic needle to…

Better Cells for Better Health

Since its inception 35 years ago, the biennial meeting of the European Society for Animal Cell Technology (ESACT) has built on a tradition of combining basic science and applications into industrial biotechnology to become the international reference event in its subject matter. Every other year, this gathering of academics and industry professionals features a famously exciting social program and an extensive vendor/supplier exhibition specific to animal cell technology. ESACT meetings are much-anticipated international venues for information exchange, inspiration, networking, and…

Purifying Common Light-Chain Bispecific Antibodies

A bispecific antibody can bind two different antigens. Immunoglobulin G (IgG) type antibodies have two binding sites with different variable regions. An IgG variable region is made up of a variable light-chain sequence (VL) and a variable heavy-chain sequence (VH). The light chains (LCs) of common LC antibodies are identical for both variable regions, leaving the heavy chain (HC) for generating different specificities. Thus, recombinant host cells for production of common LC bispecific antibodies carry genes for both HCs, with…

High-Throughput Chromatography Screenings for Modulating Charge-Related Isoform Patterns

Monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) are an important class of biopharmaceuticals and are widely used to treat a variety of diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and blood disorders. Antibodies are very complex proteins that show a high degree of microheterogeneities, including charge-, hydrophobicity- and size-related variances (1). Such variants can arise during any stage in a manufacturing process or storage as a result of enzymatic or nonenzymatic processes (2). Particular antibody variants that may affect the in vitro and in vivo…

Artifacts of Virus Filter Validation

Virus filters are used in biomanufacturing to ensure the safety of biopharmaceutical drug products. As part of filter implementation, manufacturers are required to validate that the filtration process can indeed remove virus. Validations are typically performed at contract testing organizations (CTOs) that are “equipped for virological work and performed by staff with virological expertise in conjunction with production personnel involved in designing and preparing a scaled-down version of the purification process” (1). Virus removal capability of a filtration process is…

Bioengineered Ears: The Latest Advance

Physicians at Weill Cornell Medical College (WCMC) and biomedical engineers at Cornell University have succeeded in building living facsimiles of human ears. They believe that their bioengineering method will finally achieve the goal of providing normal-appearing new ears to children born with a congenital ear deformity. The researchers used three-dimensional (3D) printing and injectable gels made of living cells. Over a three-month period, the ears steadily grew cartilage to replace the collagen used in molding them. The study’s colead-author is…

Supporting Continuous Processing with Advanced Single-Use Technologies

It has been 10 years since the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) articulated — in its guidance for process analytical technology (PAT) — the goal of “facilitating continuous processing to improve efficiency and manage variability” (1). Since that time, regulators and industry have worked toward applying continuous processing (CP) to all facets of pharmaceutical manufacturing, including bioproduction (2, 3). Last year, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) referred to CP in its draft Guideline on Process Validation, and the FDA…