Downstream Development

Quality By Design for Monoclonal Antibodies, Part 2: Process Design Space and Control Strategies

Process design space and control strategy are two fundamental elements of quality by design (QbD) that must be established as part of biopharmaceutical development and regulatory filings. Like all of QbD, they are interconnected and iterative. Both are based on knowledge gained during product and process development — but both need to be in place (in a potentially very limited form) when a company begins to manufacture drug substance for clinical trials. Part 1 of this discussion appears on pages…

Quality By Design for Monoclonal Antibodies, Part 1: Establishing the Foundations for Process Development

The quality by design (QbD) modernized approach to pharmaceutical development is intended to provide regulatory flexibility, increased development and manufacturing efficiency, and greater room to innovate as well as improve manufacturing processes within defined ranges without obtaining regulatory approval first. QbD is a systematic developmental approach that starts with a clear goal in mind and emphasizes understanding of how variability in both process and materials affects a final product (1). Historically, product quality has been assured either with end-product testing…

Special Report on Continuous Bioprocessing: Upstream, Downstream, Ready for Prime Time?

Once an engineering curiosity and smallscale laboratory technique, continuous bioprocessing has evolved in just a few short years to a topic of intense and increasing interest to most bioprocessors. Critics point to a steep learning/adoption curve, but that is nothing new in biomanufacturing.Andrew Zydney is a distinguished professor of chemical engineering at Pennsylvania State University. He has noted these challenges facing continuous processing: commercially unproven unit operations (especially downstream), a lack of equipment robustness, sterility concerns, and uncertain development timelines…

Accelerated, Seamless Antibody Purification: Process Intensification with Continuous Disposable Technology

Process intensification through continuous manufacturing has been practiced in the chemical, petrochemical, and food industries for years and has gained much interest among biopharmaceutical manufacturers (1). Key drivers encouraging biomanufacturers of therapeutic molecules to convert batch processes into continuous operation include flexibility, productivity, cost effectiveness, and product consistency. Continuous upstream processing has been demonstrated for the manufacture of a broad range of molecules, including complex/labile proteins such as enzymes (2) and monoclonal antibodies (3). Recent publications have reported successful application…

Prepacked Chromatography Columns: Evaluation for Use in Pilot and Large-Scale Bioprocessing

Time to market, resource requirements, cost, and flexibility are key considerations in designing purification processes suitable for manufacturing biopharmaceutical products. Over the past decade, many advances have been achieved in disposable processing systems that have allowed for increased processing at a lower cost. That is in part attributable to reductions in necessary resources, changeover costs, and cleaning-validation requirements. Large-scale, prepacked chromatography columns have recently become available for clinical and commercial manufacturing, and they represent a growing trend in the industry.…

Factors Affecting Sterile Filtration of Sodium-Carboxymethylcellulose–Based Solutions

Carboxymethylcellulose sodium (CMC), is widely used as an excipient in oral, topical, and parenteral pharmaceutical formulations. It increases viscosity (1–3), serves as a suspension aid (4), and stabilizes emulsions (5). More recently, applications for CMC in formulations that facilitate improved delivery of cytotoxic drugs and biologics have been evaluated (6, 7). CMC is manufactured in a broad range of viscosities, with grades typically classified as low, medium, or high viscosity. CMC grades can be divided further based on their degree…

Process- and Product-Relate Impurities: Part 1 – Process-Related Impurities An Overview

Introduction by Cheryl Scott The CMC Strategy Forums focus on relevant chemistry, manufacturing, and controls (CMC) issues throughout the life cycle of a therapeutic and thereby foster collaborative technical and regulatory interaction. Forum chairs share information with regulatory agencies to help them merge good scientific and regulatory practices. Outcomes of forum meetings are published in BioProcess International and on the CASSS website (www.casss.org). This process is meant to help ensure that biopharmaceutical products manufactured with advancing technologies in a regulated…

Special Report: Turning Discoveries into Products — Developability Assessments and Highly Efficient Process Design

High costs and long timelines for biopharmaceutical development are cause for reflecting on how best to allocate resources from the earliest discovery stage through critical go–no-go junctures. With inputs ranging from science, engineering, and economics, the coined term developability becomes the synthesis of answers to such questions as How well does the target represent a disease state? Does manipulating that state bring about improvement? Does the molecule behave as expected in living systems? What can be done about the emergence of independent safety, toxicology, and/or immunogenicity warning signs? Can the molecule…

The Secret Life of Protein A

Affinity chromatography with protein A has become the foundation for purification of nearly every therapeutic IgG in commercial production. One of the features most responsible for its success has been its compelling simplicity. IgG binds. Contaminants do not. Load, wash, and elute pure IgG. In the real world, however, protein A does not elute pure IgG. It typically contains several hundred to a few thousand parts per million (ppm) contamination by host-cell proteins (HCPs) and other contaminants. Numerous studies demonstrate…

Identification and Quantification of Heat-Shock Protein 70: A Major Host-Cell Protein Contaminant from HEK Host Cells

Recombinant therapeutic proteins are commonly produced by cell lines such as Chinese hamster ovary (CHO), human embryonic kidney (HEK) 293, murine myeloma (NS0), and Escherichia coli bacterial cells. Host-cell proteins (HCPs) are indigenous proteins produced by those expression hosts and considered to be process-related impurities generated from the cell culture process (1). HCPs are potentially harmful and immunogenic to patients, and they can compromise the stability of protein drugs (2–4). For those reasons, HCPs must be consistently removed or reduced…