Continuous Bioprocessing

Flow Monitoring in Continuous Processing and Single-Use Systems

Flow sensors placed at critical points in both upstream and downstream processes fulfill the regulatory goals of the process analytical technology (PAT) framework. PAT has been defined as a mechanism for design, analysis, and control of biotechnical and pharmaceutical manufacturing processes through measurement of critical process parameters (CPP). Constant flow monitoring can support its overall targets fundamentally to reduce production cycling time prevent rejection of batches enable real-time release increase automation and control improve energy and material use facilitate continuous…

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…

Advances and Challenges in Vaccine Development and Manufacture

Scientists have made significant breakthroughs in bioprocess and analytical technologies for supporting vaccine development. Such technologies have helped vaccine manufacturers achieve consistent product purity and quality rapidly and cost effectively. Although interest in vaccine development and manufacture continues to increase because of the rapid growth of the global vaccine market, this area of the bioprocess industry remains challenging and complex. Here we review the current constraints and complexities in the vaccine industry, specifically related to product development and manufacture. We…

Continuous Biomanufacturing: A New Approach to Process Scale

The BioPhorum first-edition Technology Roadmap outlined a 10-year vision for therapeutic protein production in the biopharmaceutical industry (1). The roadmap describes multiple manufacturing scenarios ranging from large-scale (~20,000-L production) to small and agile, portable production facilities. It includes detailed analyses of the needs for the future in each of the following areas: Process technologies (2) Inline monitoring and real-time release (3) Automated facilities (4) Modular and mobile (5) Knowledge management (6) Supply partnership management (7). Since the 2017 publication of…

From Interest in Intensification to a Factory of the Future

Much has been published on improvements and advances in many individual technologies for biomanufacturing. If you take a comprehensive look at the field, however, you find overlap, muddling, and even contradiction about which particular processes or aspects of technological development should be designated properly as process intensification. Although the industry is addressing such distinct goals as improved manufacturing yield, product quality, and cost-effectiveness, the names of initiatives commonly applied to accomplish those goals overlap at best. Such ambiguity and lack…

An Integrated Bioprocess for Antibodies: From Harvest to Purified Bulk in Six Hours

Antibody production platform processes have been widely adopted in biomanufacturing, but many unit operations are not suitable for integration and automation. Here we describe the work of integrating unit operations by transforming a column operation to a more robust cassette format. We have selected a biomolecule-friendly buffer (phosphate) to eliminate, or delay, the performance of a circulating tangential flow ultrafiltration/diafiltration (UF/DF) operation, so the harvest-to-purified-bulk process can be integrated, resulting in a single, direct-flow operation, that reduces the batch process…

Making Downstream Processing Continuous and Robust: A Virtual Roundtable

Current biomanufacturing is driven to pursue continuous processing for cost reduction and increased productivity, especially for monoclonal antibody (MAb) production and manufacturing. Although many technologies are now available and have been implemented in biodevelopment, implementation for large-scale production is still in its infancy. In a lively roundtable discussion at the BPI West conference in Santa Clara, CA (11 March 2019), participants touched on a number of important issues still to be resolved and technologies that are still in need of…

On Continuous Chromatography: A Conversation with Sanofi’s George Weeden

George S. Weeden, Jr., is a scientist in global manufacturing science and technology (MSAT) process science at Sanofi. We recently chatted about the topic of continuous chromatography. What are the general reasons for companies to consider continuous chromatography? And what are the caveats? The main driver for considering continuous chromatography is reducing the cost of goods (CoG). Continuous chromatography improves productivity (mass of product per volume of stationary phase over time) and thus increases throughput or decreases volumes of stationary…

Continuous Chromatography: Experts Weigh in on the Possibilities and the Reality

Discussions of continuous processing in the biopharmaceutical industry are an important part of current efforts toward intensifying bioproduction and bioprocessing. Biomanufacturers are looking at all components of their development and manufacturing processes for ways to reduce the size of their facilities, lower costs, and increase speed and flexibility of operations. Increasing options for and availability of single-use technologies have been major enablers of myriad attempts to improve efficiencies. Although the general consensus may still be that single-use components are more…

In-Line Turbidity Sensors for Monitoring Process Streams in Continuous Countercurrent Tangential Chromatography (CCTC)

A strong connection between turbidity and total suspended solids (TSS) has been linked in the past to measuring well defined particles in processes. Optical density probes have seen wide adoption in the biotechnology industry for monitoring cell growth within a bioreactor, whereas in-line turbidity sensors have been used to monitor filter performance. Turbidity measurements offer a rapid quantification of suspended solids but have not been used in the biotechnology industry for chromatographic resins. In this study, turbidity measured with equipment developed by PendoTECH was used with novel continuous chromatography technology developed by Chromatan…