Downstream Development

Accelerated Product Development: Leveraging Industry and Regulator Knowledge to Bring Products to Patients Quickly

A Chemistry, Manufacturing and Controls (CMC) Strategy Forum titled “Accelerated Product Development: Leveraging Combined Industry and Regulator Knowledge to Bring Products to Patients More Quickly” was held in Washington, DC, on 27 January 2014. Biological therapeutics in development are demonstrating remarkable results in the clinic for many indications. So companies are seeking ways to accelerate the approval of these therapies and rapidly bring them to market. Many such products take the form of well-characterized proteins (e.g., IgG1 or IgG2 monoclonal…

Upstream Efficiencies, Economic Forces, and Changing Technologies Complicate Separation and Purification

When it comes to biotherapeutics manufacturing, downstream processing groups tend to get “dumped on.” Advances in cell lines, bioreactors, and culture media formulations have increased production output, providing both higher expression titers and greater volumes, but the filters and chromatography columns on the downstream side haven’t kept pace. These century-old technologies haven’t evolved as much and are reaching their limits. Regulatory agencies have contributed to innovation stagnation because they are cautious about manufacturing process changes for fear of undermining quality…

Evolving Clarification Strategies to Meet New Challenges

Increasingly efficient bioreactors allow biopharmaceutical manufacturers to achieve higher cell densities. That improved upstream efficiency has led to new purification challenges resulting from high product and contaminant concentrations as well as complex components. Therefore, harvest and clarification techniques are evolving to incorporate feed pretreatment, flocculation, and different filtration technologies such as normal-flow, tangential-flow, and depth filtration. The objective is to increase process capacities and filtrate quality, ultimately reducing biomanufacturing costs. New strategies for clarification of recombinant proteins (in particular, monoclonal…

Cost Estimation for Protein A Chromatography: An In Silico Approach to MAb Purification Strategy

Monoclonal antibody (MAb) production has adopted an accepted technology platform for downstream processing (1). The need for more economic processes has been addressed by increasing MAb titers in fermentation and aiming toward greater bioreactor volumes to increase productivity. Consequently, cost pressures are now passed on to downstream process groups. Membrane and chromatography resin savings are more important for MAb processes than ever before, with highly productive cell cultures generating large volumes of process fluid to purify (2). Traditionally, protein A…

Site-Specific Characterization of Glycosylation on Protein Drugs

A large proportion of biotherapeutic products are glycoproteins. These include erythropoietin and other cytokines, antibodies, glycosyltransferases, and glycosidases, which together generate billions of dollars in sales worldwide. Such drugs are inherently complex. As new treatments emerge and biosimilars are evaluated, the need to better understand their molecular structures is more acute than ever. Therapeutic glycoproteins are typically produced as recombinant products in cell culture systems. Glycosylation is of major importance during development of these drugs because their glycan chains markedly…

Enabling Greater Process Control and Higher Protein Titers: Advances in Downstream Single-Use Technologies

Downstream protein purification (the stage in which a protein is isolated and purified) is one of the last steps in biotherapeutic manufacturing. Single-use technologies are an increasingly popular choice for both upstream and downstream bioprocessing because they offer significant benefits over traditional multiuse manufacturing systems. Single-use technologies also provide an array of logistical benefits, including reduced costs, minimized risk of cross-contamination, and improved operational efficiency (1). Challenges remain, however, in designing a complete, streamlined, single-use process for downstream protein purification.…

Development of a Single-Use Filling Needle

Single-use components such as tubing, connectors, and filters have been widely used for many decades in bioprocess unit operations. Users have been able to identify and quantify the specific benefits of single-use over cleanable systems. In more recent years, many other process components have been designed for disposability such as bioreactors, mixers, and chromatography and ultrafiltration systems. Those and other advances have made it possible to incorporate multicomponent, presterilized manifolds into both existing and new processes, realizing benefits such as…

Accelerating Purification Process Development of an Early Phase MAb with High-Throughput Automation

    Monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) are the fastest growing segment in the biopharmaceutical industry because they are potentially efficacious in the treatment of diseases such as cancer and autoimmune disorders (1,2). With steadily increasing demand for efficient and affordable therapies, speed to clinic/market is important, and biopharmaceutical companies push multiple drugs into development each year to ensure business sustainability (3,4,5,6). Downstream purification process development for therapeutic MAbs is a critical step on their path to reach clinical trials and beyond…

Single-Use Bioreactors and Microcarriers

Cell-based therapies hold promise for treating many acute and chronic diseases (1). Optimism surrounding that therapeutic potential has driven the initiation of multiple clinical trials in pursuit of such treatments. Procedures for preparing these therapeutic agents begin with selective isolation of cells from desired tissues. That is followed by ex vivo expansion of cells of desired phenotype and functionality. Once expanded to acceptable levels, cells are stored to preserve their viability during transportation to treatment facilities. The final step in…

Enabling Technologies

Many technological advancements in recent years have enabled companies to shorten time to market, to better understand their manufacturing processes, and to characterize their products well. In BPI’s December 2013 issue (pages 47–50), I reported on the first half of an informal reader survey about those technologies, with commentary from some survey participants and others. This month concludes with my examination of analytical, formulation/fill–finish, and facilities technologies. Analytical Technologies After writing several installments of our new “BPI Lab” series this…