Downstream Development

How to Improve Your Implementation of Two-Dimensional Preparative HPLC

The biologics and natural product industries rely heavily on separation technology. Sample analyses are undertaken on the analytical scale, and isolation and purification are undertaken at the preparative scale. Key target components are often isolated to provide standard reference materials for future product quality assurance testing. These products are often very complex mixtures, requiring separation systems to have a high peak capacity for both analytical and preparative scale separations. A technique gaining popularity among companies that require the isolation of…

Modeling Flow Distribution in Large-Scale Chromatographic Columns with Computational Fluid Dynamics

Column chromatography remains a key unit operation in downstream processing of biopharmaceuticals. For most commercial processes, two to three chromatography steps are used to remove process-and product-related proteins, DNA and adventitious agents. As the biopharmaceutical industry has increased its product offerings and related demands, downstream processes have fast become a bottleneck (1, 2). Many commercial and clinical processes include a number of cycles on one or more chromatography steps to process the harvest from a single production batch. PRODUCT FOCUS:…

The Genesis of New Production Tools for Biotechnology Manufacturers

The biotechnology industry has from the start been characterized by its dependence on innovation. New therapeutics, new indications, new technologies — and the continual drive toward new approaches for optimizing processes — all contribute to getting novel products to the market (and to patients) efficiently and cost-effectively. Most of the technical literature reports on development processes for the therapeutic products themselves. But one element largely ignored forms an essential foundation to the work of the biotechnology industry: How are products…

Multicolumn Chromatography

Downstream processing is a sequence of unit process operations that purify biopharmaceuticals and prepare them primarily for bulk formulation (Figure 1). Typically, a large volume (hundreds to thousands of liters containing kilograms of therapeutic protein) is delivered from an upstream fermentation or cell culture process — and this ends up as a small volume (a few liters) of purified concentrate product after processing. Figure 1: () For many years, biopharmaceutical manufacturers have been working to increase capacity, address upstream production…

Proactive Debottlenecking

It wasn’t so long ago that people in the biotherapeutics industry talked about a “capacity bottleneck” to describe the difficulty faced by bioprocessors as their many products moved forth through development to require production at larger and larger scales (1). Expression technologies at the time were making proteins at levels suggesting that huge amounts of manufacturing capacity would be needed soon. Just after the turn of the century, product titers (in terms of protein present per liter of culture broth/supernatant)…

High-Throughput Process Development

Increasing pipelines, shorter timelines, talent scarcity, reduced budgets — all these are issues faced by companies working in today’s biotechnology environment. The ultimate goal of a process development team is to stay off the “critical path” to drug approval. But how do they complete the necessary work to create a robust manufacturing process in light of such pressures? To increase the effectiveness of development, many companies are turning to high-throughput technologies within their development platforms. Such technologies promise that scientists…

PAT Tools for Accelerated Process Development and Improvement

Broadley-James Corporation, Emerson Process Management, and the University of Texas at Austin are working together to examine and quantify the potential for faster optimization of batch operating points, process design, and cycle times. We’re also looking for more reproducible and predictable batch endpoints. The objective of this effort is to show that the impact of PAT can be maximized through the integration of dynamic simulation and multivariate analytics in a laboratory-optimized control system during product development. Data from bench-top and…

A New Era for Bioprocess Design and Control, Part 2

The level or intensity of product and process understanding that can or should be achieved beyond the acceptable minimum level promises to be the scope of a continuing debate among biotech industry and its regulators. In practice, the path of increased understanding may follow a series of incremental steps toward the desired state (Figure 1) after a product launch. Realistically that is expected to occur when the level of product and process understanding has reached or slightly exceeded the minimum…

A New Era for Bioprocess Design and Control, Part 1

Elements of the biopharmaceutical industry’s new operating paradigm have inevitably created an immediate need to condense, interpret, and relate their implications to existing regulatory and industry practices. This also provides us with an opportunity to look at them in a broader context and in relationship to one another. Such a perspective may open up new directions in discussion on how design and control aspects of biopharmaceutical manufacturing are likely to evolve. These are exciting times for scientists, engineers, statisticians, quality…