QA/QC

Ask the Expert: Best Practices for Aseptic Sampling from Stainless-Steel Equipment

Turn-key single-use aseptic sampling devices (ASDs) have diminished bioprocess contamination risks significantly. But depending on testing, facility, and storage needs, some ASD container types are more effective than others are. Bobbi Allen (technology expert at Sartorius Stedim Biotech North America, SSB) focused her 8 January 2020 “Ask the Expert” presentation on “what, why, when, and where” operators must sample aseptically from stainless-steel tanks. Using data from in-house testing of aseptic sampling containers, Allen offered key considerations for sterility, process monitoring,…

Evaluating Biosimilars: A View from the Small-Molecule World

For many years the pharmaceutical industry was dominated by small (usually synthetic) molecules, mixed with a number of nonactive materials and encapsulated or (in the really old days) rolled into pills or pressed into tablets. Although synthesizing the active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), formulating the dosage forms, and analyzing the materials at every stage of a product life cycle were not always trivial activities, they were relatively straightforward. Most of the tools needed for analyzing/controlling each step of the manufacturing process…

Bioassay Evolution: Finding Best Practices for Biopharmaceutical Quality Systems

Bioassays help drug developers determine the biological activity (potency) of their products, which has been a biopharmaceutical critical quality attribute (CQA) since long before that concept had a name. Because of their complex nature, bioassays are among of the most challenging experiments to perform reliably with dependably accurate results. Consistent assay performance requires a controlled environment and qualified reagents; skilled analysts who understand cell physiology, regulatory requirements, and the latest techniques; and assay protocols that are intelligently developed, characterized, and…

Biopharmaceutical Product Specification Limits and Autocorrelated Data

Calculations, including statistical tolerance intervals, can assist in the development and revision of specification acceptance criteria. Manufacturing results for attributes of a biopharmaceutical product can be positively autocorrelated. The sample standard deviation — calculated from limited, positively autocorrelated data — tends to underestimate the long-term process standard deviation (1). In this article, simulated data are used to assess the relative performance of statistical tolerance intervals, intervals calculated using the minimum process performance index Ppk approach, and the sample range. Prevalence…

Ask the Expert: Highly Sensitive Host-Cell Protein Analyses Using Novel Chromatography Technology

Geert Van Raemdonck (global field support expert at PharmaFluidics) and Koen Sandra (scientific director of the Research Institution for Chromatography, RIC) teamed up for a 10 October 2019 “Ask the Expert” webinar to introduce micro Pillar Array Column (μPAC™) technology for liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC–MS) for host-cell protein (HCP) detection. Van Raemdonck explained that μPAC technology approaches chromatography differently than does packed-bed technology. Microfluidic channels with arrays of free-standing pillars are etched lithographically into a silicon wafer. The resulting permeability…

The Proof Is in the Data: Extractables and Leachables

Extractables and leachables (E&Ls) must be addressed in material and process validation programs. Extractables are compounds that can be extracted from a material in the presence of solvents with varying polarity under extreme conditions. Materials manufacturers should make extractables guides available to end users. Leachables are compounds that migrate from a material in the presence of an actual formulation under normal process operating conditions. Extractables information can be helpful as a basis for evaluation of potential process-equipment–related leachables (PERLs)testing. However,…

Demonstrating Intactness of Biopharmaceutical Products: Intact Molecular-Weight Analysis and Terminal Sequencing of Proteins

Regulations require that biomanufacturers assess the intactness of protein and glycoprotein products as well as confirm the terminal sequences to look for existing variations. ICH Q6B guideline section 6.1.1 c states: Terminal amino acid analysis is performed to identify the nature and homogeneity of the amino- and carboxy-terminal amino acids. If the desired product is found to be heterogeneous with respect to the terminal amino acids, the relative amounts of the variant forms should be determined using an appropriate analytical…

Mitigate Risk with Effector Function Characterization for Antibody Therapeutics

The complexities of biomanufacturing combined with heterogeneity introduced by cellular expression systems present significant challenges to assessing the quality of biologics such as monoclonal antibodies (MAbs). Information related to the critical quality attributes (CQAs) of MAb drug candidates is unknown during early phase drug development. It must be established empirically by physical, structural, and functional analyses as early as possible to accelerate development and mitigate risk through greater understanding of product characteristics. High-resolution analytical techniques are required to answer questions…

eBook: Bioassays for Biopharmaceuticals: Finding Best Practices in a Quality Systems World

Bioassays are complex and challenging experiments to run reliably with accurate and dependable results. Consistent performance requires a controlled environment and qualified reagents; skilled analysts who understand cell physiology, regulatory requirements, and the latest techniques; and assay protocols that are intelligently developed, characterized, and validated. Here, BPI’s senior technical editor discusses bioassay best practices with representatives of the Biopharmaceutical Emerging Best Practices Association (BEBPA) organization. Topics span quality by design, assay validation, cell banking, potency testing and host-cell protein monitoring,…

Biopharmaceutical Characterization, Part 2: Applications and Strategies for Diverse Products — A Conference Report

Last fall, KNect365 brought together more than 250 analytical specialists to discuss biological assays and characterization of well-characterized biologics in Rockville, MD. Speakers from the US Food and Drug Administration joined experts from leading biopharmaceutical companies, service providers, and consultancies for case studies, regulatory interactions, sharing perspectives, and learning about emerging technologies. Part 1 of this report in January 2019 focused on the bioassay section of the meeting. Here in Part 2 sponsored by Sartorius, BPI’s senior technical editor reports…