Risk Management

The CMC Strategy Forum Series, Part 1 – QbD and Risk Management

Introduction by Cheryl Scott The CMC Strategy Forum series provides a venue for biopharmaceutical product discussion. The meetings focus on relevant chemistry, manufacturing, and controls (CMC) issues throughout the life cycle of a therapeutic and thereby foster collaborative technical and regulatory interaction. Forum chairs share information with regulatory agencies to help them merge good scientific and regulatory practices. Outcomes of the forum meetings are published in BioProcess International. This process is meant to help ensure that biopharmaceutical products manufactured with…

Exploring Options for Dual Sourcing of Single-Use Components

As the bioprocess industry progressively adopts single-use technologies for large-scale manufacturing (1, 2), biomanufacturers’ increased reliance on integrators for critical production equipment continues to raise concerns about supply chain security. The need to mitigate risks associated with the supply of single-use components (e.g., bioreactors, aseptic connectors, tubing, filters) has led to growing interest in the dual sourcing of those materials. To that end, integrators and end users alike are exploring the definition of functionally equivalent products, how functional equivalency can…

Understanding and Controlling Sources of Process Variation: Risks to Achieving Product Critical Quality Attributes

Biopharmaceuticals include recombinant proteins, vaccines, gene therapies, and drug products derived from stem cell technology. One key characteristic of shared by all biologics is that they tend to be extremely large molecules with complex three-dimensional structures, critical to their functionality. For example, monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) are composed of more than one thousand times larger than a molecule of aspirin (one analogy compares the complexity of a MAb to that of an F16 jet, and the complexity of aspirin to that…

Tsunami - Japan 2011

Supply Chain Challenges in the Biopharmaceutical Industry: A Case Study Following the 2011 Tsunami in Japan

Global manufacturing of biopharmaceuticals for human use helps save the lives of millions of people and is a large commitment to public health. The industry operates in an environment with financial uncertainties and complex international supply chains, so the question of risk mitigation is paramount. There is an expectation that comprehensive risk mitigation programs should be in place to minimize the risk of supply chain interruptions that would negatively affect the manufacture of these vital therapeutics. Here we share how…

Strategies to Mitigate Technology Transfer and Clinical Manufacturing Risks: Downstream Purification Case Studies

Since the early 1980s, biotechnology products have been a fast-growing sector. They now occupy a significant portion of biologic drugs approved by regulatory authorities around the world every year. Among the approved biologic drug products, as well as those still in clinical testing, many are manufactured by contract manufacturing organizations (CMOs). Sponsor companies often transfer their developed process and process knowledge to CMOs for manufacturing of materials for toxicology and clinical studies. Drug Product Development Figure 1 illustrates the usual…

Risk Management in Financing of Capital Expansions: How One CMO Grows with Its Customers

BioVectra Inc. is an eastern Canadian contract manufacturing organization (CMO) with expertise in both synthetic chemistry and biomanufacturing techniques. In recent years, it has obtained specialized knowledge in production of highly potent small molecules from fermentation and functionalized methoxypoly(ethylene glycol) products (mPEGs). The focus of BioVectra’s contract manufacturing business is the transfer and scale-up of processes for manufacturing its clients’ products under current good manufacturing practices (CGMPs) as appropriate for the clinical stage of each product. In the current environment,…

Essentials in Quality By Design

Quality by design (QbD) is a systematic approach to drug development. It begins with predefined objectives and emphasizes product and process understanding and process control, all based on sound science, data-based decision making, and quality risk management (QRM). As introduced by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), QbD brings modern drug development methodologies to chemistry, manufacturing, and control (CMC) teams working on biologics, pharmaceuticals, and vaccines. The innovations associated with QbD are not so much the development concepts (which…

Cell Therapy Manufacturing

Fueled by a recent resurgence in public financing and compelling clinical data for indications as diverse as acute macular degeneration and pancreatic cancer, a growing number of cell therapies are driving toward pivotal clinical studies and commercialization. Although regulatory precedents have been set for various autologous and allogeneic products in the United States, Asia, and the European Union, regulatory guidance continues to evolve for a widening array of cell products. Adult stem cells (e.g., mesenchymal stem cells), embryonic stem cells,…

Responding to Life Sciences Manufacturing Industry Guidance

Increasingly, life science manufacturing companies are applying technology to meet quality by design (QbD) goals. Organizations collect overflowing volumes of process data as part of programs designed to improve manufacturing variability and outcomes. Collecting valuable data is now an everyday task thanks to available software and process analytical technology (PAT) tools. The industry today, in fact, has focused so much on gathering data that it often has lost sight of an important fact: Data collection systems are valuable only if…

Quality Risk Assessment and Management Strategies for Biopharmaceutical Companies

You’ve probably been hearing a lot about risk assessment in recent months. Indeed, some 15 times more articles have been printed referencing the concept over the past year relative to a 12-month period just three years ago. That truly represents a geometric progression. Unfortunately, very few authors have been able to disambiguate the different methods or provide insight into this time-tested, multiple-industry philosophy that at its core uses good science to make better decisions. When we undertake the challenge to…