Economics

Embracing Innovation in Biomanufacturing

Innovations in bioproduction of therapeutics over the past 20 years have led to impressive improvements in product yield, process controls, and manufacturing safety. Industry 4.0 concepts have been embraced across the bioprocess industry and are leading to better bioprocess control through process automation, “big data” and data analysis, process simulations, the industrial internet of things (IIoT), cybersecurity, the cloud, blockchain/serialization, and additive manufacturing. Such advances help to ensure that a process results in the same outcome every time. As Sean…

COVID-19 As a Catalyst for Changing Orphan-Drug Regulations

A long-awaited (and for months withheld) evaluation of the European Union’s Orphan Drug Regulation (ODR) finally reached the interested public in August 2020 (1). Its publication during the public consultation of the European Commission’s “Pharmaceutical Strategy” was well planned because the latter discusses policies on access, availability, and affordability of new medicines. However, the ODR evaluation shows not only that the intentions behind the legislation have not been fulfilled, but also that its generous incentives (extension of market exclusivity and…

eBook: Vaccines — COVID-19 Invigorates a Stagnant Industry

The SARS-CoV-2 novel coronavirus has galvanized what was a stagnant and oligopoly-run vaccine industry. In this inaugural BioProcess Insider eBook, the first of four to be published in 2021, founding editor Dan Stanton explores economic and technical conditions that until now have hampered innovation in vaccine development and discouraged market entry for emerging biotechnology companies. Leveraging commentary from vaccine industry experts and analyzing the range of emerging vaccine modalities, Stanton surveys how industry responses to the COVID-19 pandemic are fostering…

The Green Imperative: Part Two — Engineering for Sustainability in Single-Use Technologies

In BPI’s June 2020 issue, the first installment of this series introduces the study and implementation of single-use (SU) technology to provide a more sustainable manufacturing environment (1). We presented evidence showing that the economic and social benefits of SU systems currently outweigh the residual environmental risks. Not only is SU technology often a better environmental choice than traditional biomanufacturing options, it also is sometimes the only choice for rapid process design and facility start-up. In situations such as the…

Top Trends in Biomanufacturing

Facing an ongoing pandemic, growing pipelines, and a possible capacity crunch, the bioprocess industry is striving to balance its priorities. Those are some of the key issues to watch according to the 17th annual report and survey of biopharmaceutical manufacturing capacity and production from BioPlan Associates. It includes survey responses from 130 decision-makers (from 33 countries) at both bioprocessing organizations and contract manufacturing organizations (CMOs) and responses from 150 bioprocess industry suppliers (1). Top trends from this report are highlighted…

Therapeutics Innovation in a Pandemic Era

Biopharmaceutical companies have demonstrated a rapid and powerful response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with innovators leading the way. A rush of investor money has been pouring into companies with the best odds of making it to the vaccine finish line. But such heavy investments in one sector lead some industry experts to wonder about the financial support of research into cure pathways for other serious diseases such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, and Alzheimer’s disease. When the pandemic abates with vaccines…

Don’t Be Forced to Accept a Bad Deal During the COVID-19 Crisis

Your boss’s boss just gave you the mandate to procure equipment, components, and raw materials for development and production of a new vaccine. Your goal is to get those as soon as possible — in addition to securing a massive volume for the future. You and your company are in the spotlight, and under significant pressure to deliver. You simply cannot fail. Yet many other players in your industry find themselves in the very same situation. Demand is exploding, and…

The Therapeutic Monoclonal Antibody Product Market

Commercial development of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) began in the early 1980s, and by 1986 the first MAb product had been approved in the United States: muromonab-CD3 (trade name Orthoclone OKT3, marketed by Janssen-Cilag) for prevention of kidney-transplant rejection. Since its approval, therapeutic MAbs and antibody-related products such as Fc-fusion proteins, antibody fragments, and antibody–drug conjugates (collectively referred to herein as “MAb products”) have grown to become the dominant product class within the biopharmaceutical market. They have been approved for…

Finding Efficiencies to Accelerate Biopharmaceutical Development

An old engineering adage says that in any technical project, you can get speed and/or quality and/or cost-efficiency — but you never get to have all three. The idea is that emphasizing any one of those parameters necessarily deemphasizes one or both of the others. For most of the biopharmaceutical industry’s early years, companies operated on that assumption. Many organizations saw speed as the weakest link that could be more or less ignored; others had money to burn. The smartest…

Biosimilars Pipeline and Market Trends

Most biopharmaceutical industry experts now consider biosimilars to be mainstream products, indicating that the field has progressed immensely over the past 10 years. Nevertheless, when comparing approvals and commercial offerings across the globe between 2013 and 2020, it becomes clear that some regions welcome these therapies more than others do. Western European biosimilars markets continue to be kind to these drugs’ production, distribution, and coverage; and companies headquartered in Asia and the Pacific Rim increasingly are getting involved in biosimilars…