Upstream Validation

Distinctions Between Analytical and Bioanalytical Test Methods

Analytical methods used for characterization, release, and stability testing of biotechnological/biological products are often automatically referred to as “bioanalytical” methods by some in the field. Many times the term is used to distinguish between test methods applied to small-molecule chemical products and those for macromolecular, biologically based products. It seems sensible enough: We use analytical methods to test chemical pharmaceutical products, so aren’t test methods used for biopharmaceutical products therefore bioanalytical methods? Any way, who cares whether the term is…

Are Generic HCP Assays Outdated?

    Biomanufacturers face a conflict between low-cost generic host cell protein (HCP) assays and highly sensitive but more costly process-specific HCP assays that are usually not initiated until the proof-of-concept stage. But drug developers cannot expect sufficient sensitivity from most commercially available generic assays. For some companies, multiproduct HCP assays could offer a solution to the dilemma. Biopharmaceutical manufacture using genetically modified microorganisms and cell lines is typically associated with contamination by process-related impurities. One of the most important…

Isolation of Novel High-Osmolarity Resistant CHO DG44 Cells After Suspension of DNA Mismatch Repair

    Recent technological advances in cell line and bioprocess development have driven significant improvements in product titers and enabled scientists to accelerate product development timelines (1). Despite those successes, many limitations in developing cell lines for biotherapeutics remain. One example in fed-batch cultures is an apparent paradox: when cell growth is inhibited by high osmolarity after multiple additions of concentrated nutrients intended to enhance cell growth and protein production. Generation of novel host cells to overcome specific bottlenecks found…

A Modular Approach to Facility Validation

Biopharmaceutical manufacturers are striving to maintain productivity and profits while controlling increasing costs. Historically, validation has been seen as an expensive, non–value-added necessity to gaining regulatory approval to manufacture. Less often is it seen as a key element of an overall quality management system (QMS) that supports the safety, quality, and efficacy of end products for patients while also providing invaluable knowledge and experience for enhanced process control and management. When fully integrated with a QMS, a modular validation platform…

Automated Liquid Handlers As Sources of Error

Use of automated liquid handling equipment for rapid testing and reproducible screening of thousands of molecules, cells, and compounds has become an essential component of life-science laboratories across the globe. Along with an increase in such use, transferred volumes have shrunk, as demands increase on transfer accuracy and precision when aspirating, diluting, dispensing, mixing, and washing. Automated liquid handlers are generally used to increase the productivity and repeatability of volume transfer, but as discussed here, they are still prone to…

Encyclopedia of Rapid Microbiological Methods

Many different rapid microbiological methods (RMM) have been developed in recent years, although their acceptance and implementation in the pharmaceutical industry has been slow. To stimulate the integration of RMMs in the pharmaceutical industry, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) introduced the Process Analytical Technology (PAT) initiative in 2004. A year later, the Encyclopedia of Rapid Microbiological Methods, edited by Michael J. Miller, was published. Miller, senior research fellow in the manufacturing and science department at Eli Lily, recruited many…

Robustness of Parvovirus–Retentive Membranes and Implications for Virus Clearance Validation Requirements

    Generic validation is conceivable only through a thorough understanding of the parameters affecting the performance of a process step. In this paper, we provide a detailed example demonstrating the robustness of a virus filtration step. As a first step towards the establishment of a generic validation package for a monoclonal antibody, the robustness of clearance of PP7 across the ViroSart CPV filter was evaluated by changing several critical operational parameters using a simple one-off experimental design. Two different…

Managing the Analytical Life-Cycle for Biotechnology Products

The analytical program for a given biotherapeutic has a life-cycle analogous to that of a manufacturing process used to prepare material for clinical and commercial use. This two-part article discusses analytical activities associated with the progression of biotherapeutic candidates from the early stages of clinical development through their appearance as licensed drugs on the market. In Part One, we examined the stages of the analytical life-cycle. Here we conclude by going into more detail on challenges associated with method qualification,…

Biotech Facilities Average a Batch Failure Every 40.6 Weeks

Gathering information about batch failure rates in the biopharmaceutical industry is about as easy as getting politicians to talk about their most embarrassing gaffes and indiscretions. Although it comes as no surprise that batches do fail, some readers may be surprised at how relatively well many organizations appear to be performing. Based on the results of our recently released annual report and survey (1), facilities are experiencing batch failures at an average rate of about one every nine months (40.6…

Managing the Analytical Lifecycle for Biotechnology Products

Biotechnology pipelines have demonstrated significant growth over the past decade, with many therapeutic candidates evolving in a single class of protein molecules: the monoclonal antibodies (MAbs). To develop such therapeutic candidates, a scalable drug development process must leverage in-house and industry-wide knowledge so biotechnology companies can address the economic and medical needs of 21st-century medicine. Biotherapeutics development is complex, resource intensive, and time consuming, taking some 10 years of effort to go from target validation to commercialization. This reality, coupled…