Downstream Development

Streamlining Cell Therapy Manufacture

    The cell therapy industry (CTI) is no longer a cottage industry; it is a distinct and sustainable component of the global healthcare sector (1). Today, CTI prospects are strong, with annual revenues exceeding US$1 billion/year, supported by improving investor sentiment and public support (1,–3). The next phase of CTI growth — toward a multibillion-dollar global industry — will depend on the biomanufacturing community innovating to meet growing market demands and providing products at affordable costs to healthcare payers.…

Revisiting Protein A Chromatography

Due to the molecular complexity of monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) and potential impurities in cell culture media before purification (host-cell proteins, DNA, media components) (1), subsequent downstream operations must consistently and reproducibly purify products to ensure safety and efficacy. The latest member of GE Healthcare’s MabSelect family is called MabSelect SuRe LX (2). As Table 1 shows, it has been developed using the same highly cross-linked agarose base matrix and protein A ligand as for other MAb affinity resins (Table 1).…

Production of CGMP-Grade Lentiviral Vectors

Lentiviral vectors are important tools for gene transfer because of their ability to transduce a number of cell types without the need for host cells to be dividing (1, 2). As a result, investigators are using them as gene delivery vehicles in clinical applications (3,4,5,6). Although these vectors are used routinely in many research laboratories, large-scale production using current good manufacturing practice (CGMP) methods comes with a set of challenges that must be considered as more clinical trials using lentiviral…

Shifting the Bioprocess Paradigm

    The need for transformation is a powerful driving force in the biopharmaceutical industry. Opinions and predictions about the best way forward are plentiful. As drug developers seek to enhance productivity, reduce costs, and improve their return on investment in research and development, new ways of doing business are explored, evaluated, and acted upon — with varying degrees of success. Faced with intense pressure to evolve, the biopharmaceutical industry is smart to leverage approaches that have driven success in…

Understanding Chromatographic Media Ligand Density

    The concept of quality by design (QbD), although not new, has presented implementation opportunities and challenges to both the bioprocessing industry and regulators (1,2,3,4). Tools such as design of experiments (DoE), cause and effect analysis, and multivariate analysis provide for systematic risk assessment and help identify critical quality attributes (CQAs) and critical process parameters (5,6,7). QbD is intended to ensure that manufacturing processes make products that meet predefined quality parameters. Key elements in defining such parameters (quality profile)…

Evaluating Disposable Depth Filtration Platforms for MAb Harvest Clarification

At small to medium scales, single-use technology offers significant advantages over traditional reusable (e.g., stainless steel) manufacturing technology with regard to flexibility, cost of goods, implementation timelines, and maintenance. However, process design based on disposables does create new challenges. With traditional fed-batch processes, harvest clarification is usually achieved by centrifugation followed by depth filtration. For processes based entirely on disposables, the disc-stack centrifuge needs to be replaced by filtration alone. To extend its manufacturing capabilities and capacities, Rentschler decided to…

Scaling Up Normal-Flow Microfiltration Processes

    Scaling up biological processes from laboratory bench to process scale is complex and requires considering a number of factors to ensure process robustness. Due to variability among raw materials and processes, most process developers use generous safety factors to ensure that their systems are not undersized. Although that method can be reduce process risk, it is inefficient. To improve process efficiency and reduce risk, we conducted a study to identify and quantify key factors that contribute to variability…

Optimization, Robustness, and Scale-Up of MAb Purification

The biopharmaceutical industry needs faster and more efficient development of new drugs and their market introduction as well as shorter process development times for both upstream and downstream operations. It has become more commonplace to use high-throughput development techniques to save time (1). Development is also sped up by applying platform technologies based on the unsurpassed selectivity of protein A resins (2,3,4,5,6), which is the foundation for downstream processing of monoclonal antibodies (MAbs). This is the second of two articles…

Considerations in Scale-Up of Viral Vaccine Production

    On 28 June 2011, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations declared the Rinderpest cattle plague virus to be the second troublesome virus (after smallpox) that humans have eradicated from the Earth (1). Such achievements herald exciting times both for classical vaccinology and for many new and developing technologies. Here we consider scaling up of vaccines and related hybrid, targeted, and conjugated viral therapeutics that are made through animal cell culture. The vaccine industry is now…

A World of Innovation

The world faces a clear need for innovative biological products to treat and prevent diseases that cause significant health burdens. What might be less obvious is a need for innovation in biomanufacturing processes. If these products are to be made more efficiently and cost-effectively through less wasteful and safer means, then improvements are definitely needed. “We need innovations in downstream bioprocessing, whether the products are vaccines, recombinant proteins, or other bioproducts,” said Uwe Gottschalk, vice president of purification technologies at…