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Pfizer unveils biosimilar launch plans and shares view on US market

Pfizer set out a busy programme of biosimilar launches in its Q3 call and shared its thoughts on the “rebate trough” and other challenges facing the US market. First the numbers. Pfizer finished the three months to the end of September with income of $7.7 billion (€7 billion) – up 87% on the year earlier quarter – and revenue of $12.7 billion, which is down 5% year-on-year. The revenue decline was due to Pfizer’s decision to merge its consumer unit with GSK’s…

eBook: Bioreactor Scale-Up: From Pilot to Commercial Scale in the Modern Era

Upstream bioproduction always has begun with laboratory systems producing limited amounts of product for test purposes, then those bioprocesses are scaled up to make more product more efficiently for larger clinical trials — and ultimately commercial distribution. With the advent of single-use technology and continuous processing, how have scale-up approaches changed in recent years, specifically at the pilot-to-production level? In this online exclusive, BPI editors review the science and technology affecting decisions made at this stage of process development, with…

Streamlined Serum-Free Adaptation of CHO-DG44 Cells: Using a Novel Chemically Defined Medium

Monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) have radically transformed the treatment of many chronic diseases, mainly in the fields of oncology and autoimmunity. The overwhelming majority of therapeutic MAbs are manufactured from recombinant Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell lines. The original CHO cell line was isolated in the 1950s, and since the early 1980s, it has become the workhorse of the biopharmaceutical industry. The CHO-DG44 strain was generated after several rounds of mutagenesis that deleted both copies of dihydrofolate reductase (dhfr) genes by…

Emerging Treatments for Spinal Cord Damage

Injuries to the spinal cord can cause permanent paralysis and even lead to death, with little or no hope for patients to regain lost function after such trauma has occurred. News of my spinal cord research first came to prominence in the 1980s with a front-page story that chronicles a presentation at the annual Society for Neuroscience meeting (1). That reported the first time that crushed peripheral nerves had been regenerated back into a patient’s spinal cord. Regeneration of spinal…

Control of Protein A Column Loading During Continuous Antibody Production: A Technology Overview of Real-Time Titer Measurement Methods

During production of therapeutic antibodies, harvest titer is measured to monitor product mass loaded onto the protein A capture column. This prevents both column underloading (underusing expensive resin) and overloading (wasting product as flow-through (FT)) while allowing for column yield calculations. Batch production yields a single homogenous harvest pool, thus only one titer measurement (along with volume loaded) is sufficient to determine the mass loaded. During continuous production, however, cell-free harvest (permeate) continuously exits a perfusion reactor and loads a…

Biosimilarity Assessments: The Totality of Evidence Framework

Biosimilars are evaluated through comparisons with their reference products using abbreviated pathways that have evolved significantly over the past few years. Scientists and regulators now accept that some quality attributes can vary from batch to batch over a product’s lifecycle, even for reference products. Moreover, reference and similar biotechnology products can show differences in noncritical quality attributes but still demonstrate comparable efficacy and safety (1). Here we describe a similarity assessment approach that is also applicable to comparability of lifecycle…

A Faster Solution to Hybridoma Screening

Monoclonal antibodies are a rapidly growing class of therapeutics and are used in multiple clinical indications. This highly competitive landscape necessitates the need for rapidly developing next generation antibodies against new challenging targets with improved mechanism of action and pharmacokinetics. Current antibody screening tools such as ELISA, only report on binding to one antigen target at a time; hence these assays are time consuming and require large amounts of target protein. This case study highlights how the Intellicyt® iQue3 system…

CMC Considerations for Commercial-Ready ADC Manufacturing Processes to Enable Accelerated Timelines

Courtney Morgret, senior scientist, AbbVie Morgret’s presentation focused on antibody–drug conjugate (ADC) manufacturing and ways to accelerate it. She pointed out that ADCs have the potential to be filed for market approval based on phase 2 data. A few such products have been approved and are on the market today, with many more in the pipeline. ADCs provide an opportunity to address unmet medical needs. The task of a CMC (chemistry manufacturing and controls) group is to move a product…