2018

October From the Editor

As we send this issue to the printer, the BPI editors are enjoying the start of the western Oregon fall season. Early rains are beginning finally to extinguish the remaining wildfires that have kept our valley (along with much of the west coast) choked with smoke much of the summer. With the fires on this side of the country and the recent storms to the east, we hope that all our colleagues and readers remain safe. For BPI, changes begun…

Viral Risk Mitigation: A Global Regulatory Perspective

The production of biologics will always have the risk of viral contamination. Manufacturers have developed a multitiered approach — tailored to individual processes — to prevent adventitious viruses from entering production processes, detect contamination in raw materials and process intermediates, and remove viruses in downstream purification. This article provides an overview of the global regulatory framework to ensure the viral safety of biologics. Past Contamination Events Past contamination events have resulted in corrective and preventative actions to reduce the risk…

Development of a Standardized Extractables Approach for Single-Use Components: General Considerations and Practical Aspects — A Manufacturer’s Perspective

The subject of extractables for single-use bioprocess contact materials has been a subject of heated debate since roughly the summer of 2012, when the first ISPE paper was published issuing a call to action to develop a standardized extractables protocol for the industry (1). As a supplier that pioneered the science of extractables (2‒11) and has published extractables data for our products for over 20 years, Sartorius Stedim Biotech (SSB) took the opportunity to look back, take stock, rationalize, and…

BioProcess International Conference and Exhibition 2018 Postevent Report: Key Insights, Highlights, and Take-Away Messages

From the global shift in demographics to increased efficiencies in chromatography media, change is constant within the bioprocessing industry and a major reason delegates flock to the annual BPI Conference and Exhibition. As a place to get an overview of the hot topics affecting this industry, the meeting brings together key aspects of bioprocessing — therapeutic modalities, cells, expression systems, upstream production, downstream processing, development, and manufacturing — with digital integration and the increasing importance of analytics. Add in macrobusiness…

A Novel 3D Culture System for High-Throughput Hepatoxicity Screening

Cells grown as three-dimensional (3D) spheroids are thought to more closely mimic in vivo physiology in terms of morphology, structural complexity, and phenotype. Being more physiologically relevant, 3D cultures can be highly predictive for compound profiling and evaluating cytotoxicity, a critical step in evaluating chemotherapeutic drug candidates. Unfortunately, evaluation of drug cytotoxicity traditionally has relied on the use of two-dimensional (2D) cell culture monolayers. When grown in monolayers, cells are not exposed to soluble gradients, are forced into an apical-basal…

Certain Approaches to Understanding Sources of Bioassay Variability

During lifecycle development of a biological assay (bioassay), identifying and reducing sources of variability might be required to improve method performance. Here I recommend some statistical and graphical approaches (consistent with USP <1033>) for practitioners to identify variation from experimental results (1). Sources of Variation in a Bioassay To correctly identify sources of variation in a bioassay, analysts must consider how that bioassay is to be executed. In particular, the experience and technical expertise of each analyst expected to execute…

Biological Stealth Bombers: Potency, Regulatory, and Bioprocessing Concerns of Antibody–Drug Conjugates

Seven years ago, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first product in a new class of biologics: antibody–drug conjugates (ADCs). The idea for these products already had been hatched a decade earlier when the promising field of antibody research — touting such molecules as “magic bullets” — had faltered, specifically against oncology-related indications. The early crop of anticancer monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) proved to have only limited efficacy, and interest in developing antibodies as therapeutic agents against cancer…

BioProcess Insider for October

Launched in June 2018, the BioProcess Insider digital information portal delivers the latest financial and business news and expert insider views influencing the commercialization of biopharmaceuticals. Here are just a few recent stories edited for our space limitations in print. For more discussion and in-depth analysis, check out the website at www.bioprocessinsider.com. Every edition provides expert and insider perspectives on current financial movements and deal-making; the newest technology purchases and capacity investments; regulations affecting the bioprocessing sector; global market actions…

Bridging Polymer Science to Biotechnology Applications: A Single-Use Technology Conference Report

Single-use (SU) technology is used more every year throughout the biotechnology industry. As applications now span from cell banking to drug product, that in turn is raising interest in the interaction of extractables with proteins and cells. The second “Single-Use Technologies” conference organized through Engineering Conference International (ECI) was subtitled “Bridging Polymer Science to Biotechnology Applications” and delved into the science of plastics in bioprocessing applications. On 7–10 May 2017 at the Hotel dos Templários in Tomar, Portugal, people from…

Proposing a Systematic QbD Approach Toward Validated Guidelines for CMO RFI and RFP Processes: Biopharmaceutical Vendor Evaluation and Selection Minimum Standards (BioVesel)

Three major concerns predominate biotechnology executive management in organizations of all sizes and above all other risks: finance (or its absence at critical moments), technological performance, and failures in coordination. Some business functions, such as human resources (HR), are effectively siloed horizontally and therein are more likely to be susceptible to only one of those risks (1). Few functions are subject to this trinity of risks simultaneously; all functions may be exposed to failures in internal coordination, and a smaller…