Laboratory Equipment

Qualitative and Quantitative Host Cell Protein Analysis Using Mass Spectrometry

Host cell proteins (HCPs) originate from host organisms that are used to produce biopharmaceutical products. They are in-process contaminants that must be minimized during downstream process operations. According to regulatory agencies, the maximum permitted level of total HCP in a biopharmaceutical product is 100 ng per mg (100 ppm) (1). HCPs can decrease drug efficacy and pose a risk to patient safety because they can bring on undesirable immune responses. Thus, HCPs are a critical quality attribute that should be…

Using Slope Spectroscopy Methods: Risk Assessment and Cost Savings

The biopharmaceutical industry’s need for rapid, accurate concentration measurements of protein-containing products is critical. The protein-concentration assay measures ultraviolet absorption at 280 nm (A280) and usually is performed both as an in-process test and for product-release testing. The SoloVPE system can analyze samples across a wide range of target concentrations without the need for labor-intensive and error-prone dilutions. Slope Spectroscopy methods provide companies with a universal platform for determining protein concentration for all in-process, clinical, and commercial methods. During in-process UV…

Building a Bridge Across the “Valley of Death”: Strategies to Help Support Technology Development

On Thursday 6 September 2018 at the annual BioProcess International Conference in Boston, the first “Technology Round Robin Featuring Six Innovative Bioprocess Technologies” was presented in an interactive session with attendees as active participants, asking questions and engaging in conversation with the six featured entrepreneurs. Detailed below, this session was a culmination of several steps in an overall strategy for some of the companies participating. To fully appreciate the launch of new technologies into the bioprocess arena, you first must…

Speeding Characterization of Biologics: Replace Traditional Assay Technologies with Label-Free Quantification and Kinetics

FortéBio’s Octet instruments are an ideal replacement for ELISA, HPLC, and SPR techniques in quantification of antibodies and recombinant proteins and in testing product potency for lot release. Bio-Layer Interferometry (BLI) technology monitors biomolecular interactions in real time to determine affinity, kinetics, and concentration. The plate-based, microfluidics-free format offers users several distinct advantages over other technologies. BLI-based systems can achieve higher throughput, with the flexibility to measure two to 96 samples simultaneously. Lower maintenance requirements and increased ease-of-use further shorten…

A Novel 3D Culture System for High-Throughput Hepatoxicity Screening

Cells grown as three-dimensional (3D) spheroids are thought to more closely mimic in vivo physiology in terms of morphology, structural complexity, and phenotype. Being more physiologically relevant, 3D cultures can be highly predictive for compound profiling and evaluating cytotoxicity, a critical step in evaluating chemotherapeutic drug candidates. Unfortunately, evaluation of drug cytotoxicity traditionally has relied on the use of two-dimensional (2D) cell culture monolayers. When grown in monolayers, cells are not exposed to soluble gradients, are forced into an apical-basal…

Computational Science Changes Biolaboratory Design

Until relatively recently, life-science research was characterized by test tubes, Petri dishes, and centrifuges. Now, as with many industries, the life sciences are undergoing a digital transformation. Computational science is changing laboratory design. The healthcare industries always have generated large amounts of data. What has changed is the available information technology. With the growth of cloud computing, large data sets — and the high-speed tools for analyzing them — are available increasingly to a degree not possible with traditional servers…

Trends in Chemistry, Manufacturing, and Controls: Next-Generation Technologies and Product Modalities

New technologies bring new regulatory challenges. The biopharmaceutical industry must be cautious in its implementation of new scientific ideas and technology platforms — no matter how promising those might be. Regulators will look skeptically on any claim that isn’t backed up by good data, and with no solid history of successful use to build on, a company must have all the answers itself. How do compliance professionals anticipate what kinds of questions reviewers will ask when the time comes —…

Rapid Generation of High-Producing Clonal Cell Lines: Using FRET-Based Microfluidic Screening for Analysis, Sorting, Imaging, and Dispensing

Sales of monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) are predicted to be over US$125 billion by 2020 (1). Such revenue potential puts significant pressure on the biopharmaceutical industry to reduce timelines, especially to first-in-human trials. Cell-line development represents a large and critical portion of the early development timeline. Whether a developer is using random or targeted integration for introducing genes into a host-cell genome, the regulatory requirement for addressing monoclonality introduces a time and resource-intensive step in this process. Many different techniques are…

eBook: Bioprocess and Analytical Laboratories — Proving the Power of Data in Drug Development

Analytics pervade the entire biopharmaceutical development process — from protein characterization through biomanufacturing process optimization to final-product formulation and clinical testing. Every technical article in BPI requires data to back up the statements made, whether the topic is upstream/production, downstream processing, product development, or otherwise focused. And never mind publishing: Even more detailed documentation is required for regulatory submissions. If a company can’t back up the choices made and results obtained in development, manufacturing, and testing of its biopharmaceutical product,…

eBook: Bioinks for Bioprinting — Three-Dimensional Printing in Research and Medicine

Three-dimensional (3D) printing is one method of digital biomanufacturing for both basic biological research and translational, clinical applications. The medical field has used it to create such constructions as 3D surgical models for preoperative planning, to assist surgeons in their procedure preparations, which improves postsurgical outcomes. Examples here include generation of cleft-palate models (1), orthopedic applications (2), and cardiovascular surgical planning (3). Other forms of 3D printing for biological applications — such as 3D bioprinting — go beyond such surgical…