Downstream Validation

Multitiered Automation for Improved Efficiency of Bioprocess Analytics

The first biopharmaceutical, human insulin, was approved for use in 1982 (1). The biopharmaceutical market continues to exhibit healthy growth now, with the number of yearly patent applications increasing by 25% annually since 1995 (2). The total pharmaceutical R&D pipeline has more than doubled since the beginning of the century (Figure 1), much of that attributable to the biologics industry segment. As this industry has matured, new platform methods have emerged, and competition has increased. Consequently, the pressures of speed,…

Virus Segregation During Purification Processes: Calculation of Critical Potential Carryover of Viruses

Before a pharmaceutical product is introduced into humans, either in a clinical trial or as a marketed product, virus safety must be evaluated carefully. Virus safety normally is ensured using a three step complementary approach: selecting and testing cell lines and/or raw materials for the absence of viruses, testing the product at appropriate steps of production, and assessing the capacity of a production process to clear infectious viruses (1). The latter (also referred to as viral clearance) is the subject herein. Spiking studies are conducted to evaluate the capacity of a purification…

Setting Up a Rapid Mycoplasma Assay to Support Recombinant Protein Production

Octapharma AB (OAB) in Stockholm, Sweden, is the site for Nuwiq human recombinant factor VIII (FVIII), production. The drug is produced in a human cell line cultured in a perfusion bioreactor using a closed system (to minimize contamination) and proprietary serum-free medium without animal-derived components. In accordance with regulatory guidelines, cell banks and cell cultures used for production of biological products must be free of mycoplasma. Traditional mycoplasma testing is a growth-based method that represents a significant bottleneck in quality…

Methods on the Move: Addressing Method Transfer Challenges for the Biopharmaceutical Industry

Analytical method transfers are essential components of the current global biotechnology environment. Analytical method transfer can be defined as “a documented process that qualifies a laboratory (the receiving laboratory) to use a validated analytical test procedure that originated in another laboratory (sending laboratory), thus ensuring that the receiving laboratory has the procedural knowledge and ability to perform the transferred analytical procedure as intended” (1). The goal is to ensure that a method continues to perform in the validated state regardless…

Dual Sourcing of Protein A Resin to Mitigate Supply Chain Risk: A Comparative Study to Determine Equivalence

Protein A affinity chromatography is a well-established technology that is used extensively for large-scale purification of monoclonal antibodies (MAbs). With this mode of chromatography, very high product purity can be achieved in a single, relatively simple unit operation. A solution containing the target protein of interest is applied to a liquid-chromatography column at near-neutral pH, and one or more wash steps follow to lower product- and process-related impurities (1). Product is eluted through application of a low-pH buffer. Finally, the…

eBook: Development and Application of a Simple and One-Point Multiparameter Technique — Monitoring Commercial-Scale Chromatography Process Performance

In commercial-scale biopharmaceutical manufacturing, downstream chromatography steps are still a bottleneck and contribute to significant operational costs (1, 2). Some of those costs are inherent (e.g., resins, large buffer quantities, and cleaning) whereas others are avoidable (e.g., product loss due to rejected lots or deviations that result in production downtime). Maintaining efficient and robust chromatography process performance is therefore critical for minimizing operating costs. To do so, we introduce a simple and one-point multiparameter technique (SOP-MPT) for monitoring chromatographic process…

eBook: Development of a Representative Scale-Down UF/DF Model: Overcoming Equipment Limitations and Associated Process Challenges

Scale-down models (SDM) are physical, small-scale models of commercial-scale unit operations or processes that are used throughout the biopharmaceutical industry for validation studies, commercial deviation investigations, and postapproval process improvements. To support these studies, regulatory guidelines state that SDMs should be representative of the commercial process. For some downstream unit operations such as column chromatography, developing a representative SDM is straightforward because a linear scale-down approach can be used. However, developing a representative SDM for other downstream unit operations such…

Development of a Host-Cell Protein Platform Assay for a Chinese Hamster Ovary Cell Line

The Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell line is the most prevalent biopharmaceutical expression system and has been proven safe for commercial production of protein therapeutics (1). However, even after multiple purification steps, biopharmaceuticals contain residual host-cell protein (HCP) impurities that pose a potential safety risk to patients (2). Health authorities demand close monitoring of HCP impurities and require sensitive analytical methods with high coverage: the ability to detect a broad range of HCP impurities (3, 4). Polyclonal sandwich immunoassays are…

Aggregation from Shear Stress and Surface Interaction: Molecule-Specific or Universal Phenomenon?

Exposure to solid–liquid and air–water interfaces during production, freezing and thawing, shipment and storage of protein therapeutics may be a contributing factor in their degradation (e.g., aggregation, fragmentation) (1, 2). Surface exposure, particularly during manufacturing processes, often is accompanied by various degrees and durations of shear stresses originating from fluid flow and acting on proteins at interfaces. The magnitude and duration of shear rates depends on velocity gradients within each solution and varies significantly among manufacturing steps. On the low…

Conditional/Inducible Gene-Expression Mouse Models Using Advanced Gene Editing

Transgenic mouse models have been an essential part of biomedical research for many decades. They have provided valuable insights in developmental biology, gene regulation, and our understanding of the genetic basis of human disease. And they play a critical role in drug discovery and development. Traditional methods to generate these mouse models entailed a milieu of disadvantages: e.g., low efficiency, high incidence of undesirable recombination outcomes, randomly and multiply inserted genes of interest, ectopic expression, gene silencing, and insertional mutations…