Risk Management

The Global Cold Chain

In biopharmaceutical development, ancillary business operations such as logistics and supply chain management are frequently perceived as secondary objectives to the ultimate goal of discovering treatments and cures for devastating diseases. However, in the hypercompetitive world of drug development, forward-thinking companies have found that optimizing their clinical-trial supply chain can provide a strategic advantage to accelerating drug development. The globalization of clinical research has made the safe, punctual, and compliant transport of study drugs and other temperature-sensitive materials increasingly complex.…

A Decade of Outsourcing

    Outsourcing has been such an integral part of the bioprocessing industry that BPI made it the focus of its first supplement (September 2003). Since then, manufacturers continue to reach beyond local and national borders to extend their networks of partnerships to emerging markets. Global economics during the past decade have not always made outsourcing easy. Ten years ago, manufacturers faced tough decisions over whether it was more cost effective to outsource or keep process activities in-house (possibly expand…

Biopharmaceutical and Medical Device Compliance

Off-label marketing occurs when doctors prescribe a drug or device for a use that has not received FDA approval (1). Physicians have the unfettered right to prescribe the best drugs or devices for their patients, including approved drugs and devices for unapproved uses. Pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers, however, cannot promote their products for such uses — even if those are supported in medical literature. Companies cross the line when their sales representatives sell physicians on the idea of using…

An Industry Perspective on Quality By Design

The US FDA’s quality by design (QbD) initiative and associated ICH Q8, Q9, and Q10 guidance documents are increasingly embraced by the biopharmaceutical manufacturing industry for ensuring consistent product quality and lower costs of development and manufacturing. One critical problem the industry faces involves understanding how to implement QbD and determine the benefit of such projects — which require the work of many groups across quality, manufacturing sciences, and engineering departments. Here we present the results from a survey of…

Working Toward Animal-Free Processing

    Biological therapeutics is one of the fastest growing segments of the pharmaceutical industry — so much in fact that the overall cell culture media and supplements market used in bioprocessing applications is reportedly near $800 million (1). An increasingly important trend in cell culture is risk reduction throughout the supply chain, including a stringent focus on key raw materials. Accordingly, the industry has increasingly adopted animal-component-free materials to mitigate concerns over safety, transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, and other contaminations.…

Technology Transfer of CMC Activities for MAb Manufacturing

    With combined 2009 revenues estimated to be over US$40 billion, monoclonal antibody (MAb) products have become the dominant component of the biopharmaceutical market (1). Continued interest and development of this exciting class of products will drive the overall sales of biopharmaceutical products in the future, making them the fastest growing segment of the overall pharmaceutical market (2). To help companies developing MAb products, BioProcess Technology Consultants recently published a comprehensive report outlining the complex technical, regulatory, and strategic…

Terminology Management

Effective terminology management is an essential risk-management strategy for biopharmaceutical organizations. With a terminology management strategy in place, organizations of all sizes can use the same terms consistently within and across the various documents and labeling that accompany a product or service. Because such documents are typically created in a collaborative environment, terminology management is the most efficient solution for ensuring that the organization as a whole uses the same terms to describe the same features and functions. With comprehensive,…

The Growing Role of Biobanking in Today’s Medical Environment

    For decades, biomaterials such as tissues, blood, and serum derived from clinical testing have played a critical role in drug development and academic research. The recent focus on molecular-based therapies, genomics, and biomarker discovery in today’s medical research have dramatically transformed the way biotechnology and pharmaceutical organizations collect, transport, and store their biospecimens. As the pharmaceutical industry shifts toward a more personalized approach to medicine, the need for high-quality, well-maintained biospecimens is at the forefront of medical research.…