Emerging Therapeutics

Immunotherapy: Taking Aim at Solid Cancers

As cell and gene therapies arrive on the market, all eyes have focused on autologous chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T – cell therapies. At the 2019 Phacilitate Leaders World and Stem Cell Summit in Miami, FL, delegates looked at where the biopharmaceutical industry is going in the cellular immunotherapy space. Whether for off-the-shelf CAR T-cell products, personalized cancer vaccines, or modified natural killer (NK) cells derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) — cell and gene therapy development is…

Building Toward Antibody–Drug Conjugate Success

“We are witnessing one of the most significant paradigm changes in oncology drug development, with some new types of immunooncology compounds inducing unprecedented increases in survival in certain solid and liquid tumor indications.” —Jagath Reddy Junutula (Cellerant Therapeutics) and Hans-Peter Gerber (Pfizer) (1) An antibody–drug conjugate (ADC) for cancer treatment needs four things to succeed clinically: It needs to target the right antigen using the right antibody, with the most powerful cytotoxin attached by best linker option. These features combine…

Antibody–Drug Conjugate News: From BioProcess Insider

The following news items have appeared on the BioProcess Insider site over the past year. Together they indicate the direction in which the ADC sector is moving. BEYOND ADCETRIS — SEATTLE GENETICS AIMS FOR BIG BIOPHARMA STATUS 30 April 2018: Seattle Genetics is building toward a bigger future. For the first quarter 2018, the company’s total revenues grew to US$141 million (€116 million) compared with $109 million in the same period last year. This was attributed to a 36% increase…

Analytical Tools to Improve Decision-Making During Product Development

Speed to clinic testing — and then speed to market — are highly significant metrics for companies developing biopharmaceuticals. By increasing the pace of drug development, these companies can reduce costs, obtain revenues early, and establish commanding positions in the market relative to their competitors. High-throughput development tools have contributed much to the acceleration of drug development in recent years. Such technologies enable the testing of many process parameters in parallel. Combining them with multifactorial “design of experiment” (DoE) analysis…

Antibody Derivatives: Deconstructing MAbs for the Next Wave of Biotherapies

Although they make up the largest and most successful category of biopharmaceuticals so far, monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) suffer from certain disadvantages. Some companies are addressing those limitations by deconstructing MAb molecules to create new emergent therapeutics. These antibody derivatives include: antibody fusions and fragments, bispecifics, trifunctional antibodies, and more. This eBook combines market analysis from consultant David Orchard-Webb with technical discussion from BPI cofounder and senior technical editor Cheryl Scott. It also includes commentary from editorial advisor Michiel Ultee and…

Cost of Goods Is Crucial for the Future of Regenerative Medicine: CAR-T Cell Therapy Provides a Case Study in Perspective

In the history of regenerative medicine, 2017 was a critical year. With approvals for Kymriah (tisagenlecleucel) from Novartis AG, Yescarta (axicabtagene ciloleucel) from Kite Pharma (a Gilead company), and Luxturna (voretigene neparvovec-rzyl) from Spark Therapeutics, cell and gene therapies finally made their mark on the regulatory landscape. Then in 2018, those products began both treating patients and bringing in revenues for their sponsor companies. “Patients are being treated, and biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies are being paid for treating them,” said…

Apparent Matrix Effects in an Iduronate 2-Sulfatase Specific Activity Assay

The recombinant fusion protein SHP631 consists of a chimeric monoclonal antibody binding to human insulin receptor and iduronate-2-sulfatase (I2S). This product is being developed as an enzyme replacement therapy to treat cognitive symptoms of Hunter’s syndrome. Because the current therapy (idursulfase, brand name Elaprase from Shire) cannot cross the blood–brain barrier (BBB), SHP631 is being developed to do so, enabling the presence of I2S in the brain. The enzymatic activity of this molecule is measured using the substrate 4-methyl umbelliferyl-α-L-idopyranosiduronic…

Partnerships in Immunotherapy for the Future of Cancer Treatment

Immunotherapy seeks to harness the power of our human immune system to fight disease. In this rapidly evolving field, collaboration among different stakeholders is essential to bringing new treatments to market. Patient advocacy groups, researchers, hospitals, manufacturers, and government entities all are working together to translate promising new research into life-saving products. Types of immunotherapy include monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) and antibody derivatives, checkpoint inhibitors (immune-modulating proteins), cancer vaccines, T-cell therapies, and cytokines — so the approach involves a range of…

A Brief History of Adherent Cell Culture: Where We Come From and Where We Should Go

In the past 20 years, novel therapeutics have become a major segment of biopharmaceutical research and development, particularly for immune disorders and cancer. Progress in gene therapies could bring cures for once deadly and debilitating genetic disorders such as hemophilia or muscular dystrophy. Biologic drug products offer potential treatments that have not been possible with traditional (chemistry-based) approaches. But such products also are more difficult to produce cost effectively at an industrial scale because of the intricacies associated with biological…

Messenger RNA Drugs: Engaging the Machinery of Patients’ Cells to Therapeutic Effect

Although most of the bioprocess industry has focused on process development for large-molecule formulations (e.g., protein drugs), a growing segment of the industry has been concentrated on other types of biotherapeutics to leverage advances in understanding of immunology and genetic engineering. Such technologies may emerge both as tools for drug manufacturing and at some point, as biopharmaceuticals, biotherapeutics, vaccines, and cell and gene therapies,  themselves. What brings mRNA research to BioProcess International’s attention is the increasing interest turned toward therapeutic…