Downstream Development

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…

The Biopharmaceutical Industry’s New Operating Paradigm

Currently the biopharmaceutical industry is transitioning to a new business model of production efficiency through implementing operational excellence (Op Ex). Borrowing from such principles as “lean manufacturing” and “Six Sigma” (6σ), and incorporating quality by design (QbD) (1), Op Ex is being applied through the implementation of such advanced enabling concepts and technologies as quality risk management (QRM) (2), process analytical technology (PAT) (3), and systems biology (SB) (4). Some people see a conflict here: This paradigm shift is occurring…

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…

Proteomics Technology Applied to Upstream and Downstream Process Development of a Protein Vaccine

Development and manufacturing of recombinant-protein–based vaccines has in the past few years become very similar to that of other well-documented and well-characterized biological drugs. For investigational vaccines, chemistry, manufacturing, and controls (CMC) information is critical for a successful regulatory filing. The process development and CGMP manufacturing of a recombinant protein drug is on the critical path toward clinical phase 1 dosing and safety studies as well as proof-of-concept clinical studies (1, 2). However, resources invested in this process may be…