Upstream Development

Rapid Production of Functional Proteins of a Combinatorial IgG Library in CHO Cells

Recombinant DNA (rDNA) technologies provide a wide range of tools for producing a broad array of recombinant proteins. Since the early 1970s, the biotechnology industry has harnessed those tools — together with genetic engineering and genomics — for developing new classes of innovative and effective therapeutic molecules. The therapeutic recombinant protein market segment now represents the core of the medical biotechnology industry, with hundreds of companies involved in discovery, development, and marketing. Although recombinant technologies are extremely powerful tools, significant…

Shifting the Bioprocess Paradigm

    The need for transformation is a powerful driving force in the biopharmaceutical industry. Opinions and predictions about the best way forward are plentiful. As drug developers seek to enhance productivity, reduce costs, and improve their return on investment in research and development, new ways of doing business are explored, evaluated, and acted upon — with varying degrees of success. Faced with intense pressure to evolve, the biopharmaceutical industry is smart to leverage approaches that have driven success in…

A Brief History of Perfusion Biomanufacturing

    Today’s renewed interest in perfusion culture is due to an increased awareness of its advantages, some general improvement in equipment reliability, and a broadening of operational skills in the biomanufacturing industry. Some misperceptions persist, however, according to a 2011 review by Eric Langer (1). Our view here of the history of perfusion and fed-batch processes includes some discussion of technological process improvements and challenges that the bioprocess industry faces. A team of authors at Serono in Switzerland wrote…

Considerations in Scale-Up of Viral Vaccine Production

    On 28 June 2011, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations declared the Rinderpest cattle plague virus to be the second troublesome virus (after smallpox) that humans have eradicated from the Earth (1). Such achievements herald exciting times both for classical vaccinology and for many new and developing technologies. Here we consider scaling up of vaccines and related hybrid, targeted, and conjugated viral therapeutics that are made through animal cell culture. The vaccine industry is now…

Meeting Increased Demands on Cell-Based Processes By Using Defined Media Supplements

Rapidly increasing demand for cell-derived products has placed huge pressures on the biomanufacturing industry’s production capacity requirements. Media development strategies continue to be a primary focus for optimizing output from cell culture systems. Animal cells used in manufacturing protein products have complex nutrient requirements specific for each cell type, clone, and product. Individual nutrient requirements were once addressed by using serum-based media rich in growth factors and supplements, which provided an optimal culture environment for cell growth and productivity (1).…

Think Strategically for Design of Experiments Success

Global competition fueled by the power of information technology has forced the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries to seek new ways to compete. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has promoted quality by design (QbD) as an effective approach to speed up product and process development and create manufacturing processes that produce high-quality products that are safe and effective (1,2,3). Statistical design of experiments (DoE) is a tool that is central to QbD and the development of product and process…

Cell Therapy Bioprocessing

          The past 15 years have seen approval and commercialization of the first cell-based therapeutics, including cartilage repair products; tissue-engineered skin; and the first personalized, cellular immunotherapy for cancer. Those successes are outnumbered, however, by all too common product failures. Notable failures can be attributed to commercial concerns such as high cost of goods (CoGs) and technical hurdles such as inadequate characterization, high process variability, and loss of product efficacy when manufacturing is scaled up (1).…

Linear Scale-Up of Cell Cultures

    Reusable bioreactors have been the benchmark standard for many decades, during which a large knowledge base on process control and scale-up has been developed. However, single-use bioreactors are increasingly being implemented in modern bioindustrial upstream processes. Many of these bioreactors deviate from the traditional stirred-tank design, but a number of companies have expressed a strong need for single-use bioreactors based on the strirred-tank design. A traditional stirred-tank design would enable users to optimize their scale-up processes based on…

Industrializing Stem Cell Production

Stem cells have potential as a readily available, consistent source of many differentiated cell types. This unique property can be leveraged both for therapeutic purposes and for facilitating and improving a number of drug discovery and development processes. Large-scale, “industrialized” production of human stem cells in tightly controlled conditions will be required to deliver the quantity and quality of cells needed to support clinical trials and drug discovery development activities (Figure 1). Achieving this level of production while meeting rigorous…

I’m Losing Cell Viability and Function at Different Points in My Process, and I Don’t Know Why!

    Development of cell and tissue therapies presents bottlenecks in manufacturing process development and scale-up as commercial and academic groups move from small-scale research and development (R&D) to more complex logistics. Often, the simplicity of maintaining cell yield, viability, and function in a laboratory setting cannot be replicated when source tissue and final therapeutic products are subjected to the extended distances and times of actual clinical delivery. These bottleneck issues have a number of causes. One specific and common…