2020

Challenges and Benefits of Networking Process Control Manufacturing Systems: Integration to Business Systems in Industry 4.0

Networking of manufacturing process control systems can lead to benefits of efficiency, increased productivity, and better facility use, leading to lower cost of goods (CoG). Furthermore, integration of manufacturing systems with manufacturing execution systems (MESs) upward to an enterprise resource planning (ERP) business system improves overall organizational efficiency. An ERP system enables optimization of intrafacility manufacturing resources. For multiple manufacturing facilities, it facilitates optimization across a company’s manufacturing network. Enabling Technologies and Systems At the enterprise resource planning level (Figure…

Designing the Right Strategy for Digital Transformation: How a Pragmatic Approach to Digital Transformation Can Help Biomanufacturers Adapt to a Challenging Future

Although the biopharmaceutical industry has enjoyed explosive growth over the past three decades, it still faces an assortment of challenges. Those include growing portfolio complexities, increased demand volatility, stringent regulatory requirements, increased pricing pressures, and growing technological complexities, all leading to severe pressure on profit margins. To overcome such pressures, biopharmaceutical operations need to become more reliable and agile, and they must realize efficiency gains in both manufacturing and supply chains. Digital transformation offers strong value opportunities, including a potential…

Fluorescent Nanosensors Real-Time Biochemical Measurement for Cell and Gene Therapies

Cell and gene therapies are destined to transform the methods by which global healthcare challenges are approached and overcome (1). The US Food and Drug Administration is reviewing and approving an increasing number of cell and gene therapy products (2), and biopharmaceutical developers are dedicating immense resources to realizing the enormous potential of these therapeutics. Therefore, technologies that facilitate their effective and efficient manufacture will accelerate cell and gene therapies’ transition from medicines of the future to medicines of the…

Soft Sensors for Bioprocess Monitoring

Achieving the high process efficiencies and optimization of Manufacturing 4.0 will require sophisticated software systems, mathematical modeling, and on-line process monitoring. Soft sensors are valuable tools that enable users to measure process parameters in real time. I spoke with Benjamin Bayer, data scientist at Novasign GmbH and doctoral candidate at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna, Austria, about the potential of soft sensors for bioprocessing and important considerations for their use. Introduction How would you describe…

From the Editor: May 2020

In this way-too-interesting time we’re living through, we are seeing the worst and best of humanity as we do what we can to protect ourselves and our families. When we can congregate again, some of us will be relieved to abandon home offices and get back to familiar work surroundings, social interactions, dependable Internet access, and company-provided toilet tissue. Others will have learned that working from home is the greatest thing next to sliced bread and lobby with their management…

Gene Therapy Trends and Future Prospects

Gene therapy is defined as the transfer of genetic information to a patient for treatment of a disease. Clinical investigation of such therapies began in 1990 with a treatment for a rare immunodeficiency disorder and since has expanded to almost 1,000 clinical studies in 2019 (1, 2). In its most straightforward incarnation, the goal of gene therapy for genetic diseases is long-term expression of a transferred gene at levels that are high enough to be therapeutic, an approach sometimes called…

Cell and Gene Therapies Get a Reality Check: A Conversation with Anthony Davies of Dark Horse Consulting Group

As founder of cell and gene therapy (CGT) specialist firm Dark Horse Consulting Group in California, Anthony Davies speaks from a quarter century of experience including former positions at Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Syrrx, ZymeQuest, Serologicals, Geron Corporation, Capricor, and 4D Molecular Therapeutics — and he currently serves on the board of directors for TrakCel and the scientific advisory boards for Akron Biotech and BioLife Solutions. In his plenary address at the Phacilitate 2020 Leaders World conference (part of Advanced Therapies Week…

Quality By Design for Advanced Therapies: An Informed Route to Enhanced Late-Stage Clinical Success and Empowered Process Flexibility

As advanced therapies, including regenerative medicines, progress toward commercialization and market approval, early warnings from key opinion leaders (1, 2) regarding the importance of better understanding quality target product profiles (QTPPs) and critical quality attributes (CQAs) of such products have resounded ever louder (see the “Terminology” box for definitions). Costly late-stage delays, redirections, and even abandonment of clinical programs can be linked to quality issues associated with inadequate understanding of process and product. Therefore, a review of the benefits of…

Capture of CH1-Containing Bispecific Antibodies: Evaluating an Alternative to Protein A

Bispecific antibodies (BsAbs) are designed to recognize and bind two different antigens, in many cases for the purpose of immune effector-cell activation to destroy cancer cells (1). Such BsAbs mediate cell killing by binding simultaneously to an antigen that is overexpressed on tumor cells and to the CD3 receptor, activating cytotoxic T lymphocytes (2). Using proprietary UniRat human heavy-chain technology combined with OmniFlic human fixed–light-chain antibody technology licensed from Ligand Pharmaceuticals, Teneobio has produced several bispecific antibodies, each targeting a…

Dynamic Binding Capacities of Protein A Resins for Antibody Capture: A Comparative Evaluation

The dynamic binding capacity (DBC) of a chromatography resin represents the total amount of target protein that the resin will bind under actual flow conditions before significant breakthrough of unbound protein occurs. This is a useful parameter for predicting what the process performance of a resin will be in actual use. DBC affects the overall amount of resin that can be packed in a given column for a process — and the number of batches that can be processed cost-effectively…