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Amgen: Not treating biosimilars as ‘stepchild’ is key to success

Amgen says using the same development expertise and manufacturing capabilities for both its biosimilar and novel biologic programs sets it apart in the industry. Pharma firm Amgen is one of a handful of firms that has successfully invested in both innovator products and biosimilars – biologics that are very similar to reference biologics and for which there are no clinically meaningful differences in terms of safety, purity, and potency. With expected 2021 biosimilar revenues set to reach $2 billion, CEO…

eBook: Cell and Gene Therapies — Optimization Strategies for Processing and Potency

Although relatively new to the biopharmaceutical industry, cell and gene therapy development and manufacturing are advancing rapidly. At Informa Connect’s September 2021 Cell & Gene Manufacturing & Commercialization Conference and Exhibition, held in Boston and online, presentations reviewed concerns that arise when processing complex therapies and highlighted some innovative strategies for surmounting those obstacles. Most of those approaches described during the event used data-driven solutions, with each step building on the information gained from the previous one. High-throughput technology platforms…

Clamp-On Flow Meters for Process Monitoring

Process monitoring entails systematic recording or measurement of an operation or process by means of technical aids. Repeated, regular execution is a central element of that activity. Statistical process control and management help to optimize and stabilize processes. They also ensure appropriate monitoring of threshold values. Ultrasound-based clamp-on flow meters are ideal measuring methods for that purpose because they enable data collection without requiring operators or equipment to intervene in a process. Noncontact flow sensors also combine high precision with…

The Five Heresies of Cell Culture: Debunking Conventional Wisdom

Cell culture and bioprocessing conventional wisdom remains a hurdle for the wider adoption of more precise tools. It has been more than 60 years since any real progress has been made towards creating a more accurate and reliable way of performing cell culture monitoring to better understand the effects of things like pH and oxygen at the pericellular level. At SBI, we’re developing optical sensing technologies that unlock the “black box” of cell culture to bring actionable insights to scientists…

Engineering Alternatives: Modern Technology Enables Expression System Developers to Think Beyond CHO Cells

Major biopharmaceutical companies are teaming up with academics and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop new biomanufacturing cell lines and methods. The project — known as the AltHost Consortium — is exploring innovative ways to produce biologics and vaccines for clinical usage in diseases from diabetes to cancer. Lead researcher J. Christopher Love at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) likens this precompetitive, open-access collaboration to the early days of the biopharmaceutical industry. “When biomanufacturing first emerged as…

Cell-Free Expression: A Technology with Truly Disruptive Potential

Bioprocess engineer Beatrice Melinek is a postdoctoral research fellow at University College London’s Future Targeted Healthcare Manufacturing (FTHM) Hub, where she focuses on the use of cell-free protein synthesis (CFPS) as a platform for distributed production of stratified biotherapeutics. Previously Melinek specialized in purification of viral vectors and vaccines, with an engineering doctorate (EngD) in biochemical engineering and postdoctoral experience in UCL’s hematology department developing a new chromatography-based analytical method for measuring empty and full adenoassociated virus (AAV) capsids. She…

Total Global Capacity Finally Shows Improved Productivity

Since 2018, global bioprocessing capacity has grown from 16.5 million liters (1) to 17.4 million liters. Although output has continued to expand at around 12% overall, that rate represents a significant slowing in capacity growth as the industry moves toward greater productivity and efficiency. Trends that we have tracked in the BioPlan Associates annual report of biopharmaceutical manufacturing capacity and production (2) for over 17 years correlate with that finding. Titers are increasing; single-use technologies have reduced the need for…

Facility Design:
A Guide to Maximizing Value

Rapid growth and changing market dynamics in biologics and vaccine sectors have prompted biopharmaceutical companies and contract development and manufacturing organizations (CDMOs) to build new manufacturing facilities at unprecedented speeds. This often means developing single-use (SU) or hybrid bioprocessing facilities with reusable legacy equipment for production of monoclonal antibodies (MAbs), antibody–drug conjugates (ADCs), and viral-based vectors. For many companies, facility design begins by engaging an engineering consultancy to develop a layout that maximizes space use and minimizes equipment, fittings, and…