Emerging Therapeutics

Development and Biomanufacturing Strategies for Next-Generation Antibody-Drug Conjugates

The development and manufacture of antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) requires a series of complex steps. ADC manufacturers must comply with guidelines for both the small-molecule linker-drug and the monoclonal antibody (MAb). The authors describe their company’s development of its lead ADC product. They review process decisions, including the issues that factored into their selection of single-use systems, manufacturing challenges (differences between ADCs and MAbs), and testing methodologies for extractables and leachables. Synthon began as a small-molecule generics company in 1991. During…

Rolling with the ‘Tides: Elucidating the Role of Peptides and Oligonucleotides in the Biopharmaceutical Industry

In earlier issues of BPI we published a few “Elucidation” closers that we called “Defining Moments.” Since then, we have tried to distinguish key confusable terms from one another. Those presented (and sometimes “elucidated”) have been analytical and bioanalytical, spectroscopy and spectrometry, and biosimilars and biobetters. They are just a few of the many confusable terms in the biopharmaceutical industry. For example, when someone says “drug delivery,” a formulator will think of a syringe or transdermal patch, but a logistics…

Partnerships in Immunotherapy: Working Together to Take Cancer Treatment to the Next Level

Biopharmaceuticals are a particularly complex expression of medicine — and immunotherapies perhaps even more so. As treatments, these products themselves often also need “partners” of a kind: e.g., radiation/radiotherapies, traditional MAbs, and chemotherapies. Just as this field of endeavor requires the input and expertise of many different disciplines — from medical researchers to process engineers, clinicians to business leaders, and market experts to policy makers — this discussion of the topic of partnerships in immunotherapy brings together different experts in…

Biological Stealth Bombers: Potency, Regulatory, and Bioprocessing Concerns of Antibody–Drug Conjugates

Seven years ago, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first product in a new class of biologics: antibody–drug conjugates (ADCs). The idea for these products already had been hatched a decade earlier when the promising field of antibody research — touting such molecules as “magic bullets” — had faltered, specifically against oncology-related indications. The early crop of anticancer monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) proved to have only limited efficacy, and interest in developing antibodies as therapeutic agents against cancer…

Process Analytics and Intermediate Purification of Bispecific Antibodies with a Non-Affinity Platform

The therapeutic benefits of monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) have been demonstrated in recent decades with uncontestable success as treatments for human disease. Despite MAbs’ key features such as specificity, selectivity, and safety, the format has limitations (1, 2). Bispecific antibodies may overcome number of difficulties (3). Multiple formats of bispecific antibodies have been developed, although only the κλ-body is fully human and devoid of linkers or mutations. It requires no genetic modifications of heavy and light chains and results in bispecific antibodies…

Therapeutic Modalities: Business and Manufacturing Strategies Influencing Decisions to Develop One Therapy Type Rather Than Another

Moderator Patricia Seymour, with John Lee, Michael Kaufman, Jennifer Michaelson, and Weichang Zhou Following introductions of the panelists and their companies’ technologies, moderator Patricia Seymour began the discussion about challenges related to choosing different modalities and addressing related manufacturing concerns. Targeting Modalities Michaelson began by describing how Cullinan Oncology selects its targets and modalities, how it approaches those early phase decisions, and what its primary driver is to get into the clinic as quickly as possible. She talked about challenges…

The Development of a Next Generation Antibody–Drug Conjugate (ADC)

Michelle Zengh, chief operating officer, MabPlex International Company Ltd. MabPlex presents a complete solution from gene cloning to antibody–drug conjugate (ADC) fill–finish with a timeline from gene cloning to an investigational new drug application (IND) in 22 months. The company has facilities in San Diego and in China. It can perform cloning and high-yield stable cell-line development, process development and scale-up, CGMP quality and kilogram-scale monoclonal antibody (MAb) and payload manufacturing, large-scale conjugation (150–500 L), large-scale purification, formulation, and fill–finish.…

eBook: Manufacturing CAR-T Cell Therapies — Insights and Challenges

The rapid evolution and clinical success of T-cell immunotherapies is an exciting advance in the war on cancer. This treatment modality uses engineered cells from a patient’s own immune system to target and destroy cancerous cells. Chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) therapy is emerging as the most studied treatment in T-cell immunotherapy and is the basis for many ongoing clinical trials. FDA approval of the first two CAR-T therapies in 2017 provides a regulatory development framework, but optimization of CAR-T…

eBook: Innovations in CRISPR Technology — A Perspective on Research and Bioprocess Applications

One of the fastest growing areas in genome engineering is research using the powerful editing tool of clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR). When paired with the Cas9 (CRISPR-associated protein 9), an RNA-guided DNA endonuclease enzyme from Streptococcus pyogenes, the site-specific prokaryotic immune system can be used to cut and manipulate DNA strands in cells of patients with genetic diseases to treat, or in some cases, prevent such diseases. Within the past couple of years, CRISPR has been shown…

Therapeutic IgG-Like Bispecific Antibodies: Modular Versatility and Manufacturing Challenges, Part 2

Monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) are bivalent and monospecific, with two antigen-binding arms that both recognize the same epitope. Bispecific and multispecific antibodies, collectively referred to herein as bispecific antibodies (bsAbs), can have two or more antigen-binding sites, which are capable of recognizing and binding two or more unique epitopes. Based on their structure, bsAbs can be divided into two broad subgroups: IgG-like bsAbs and non–IgG-like bsAbs. We have chosen to focus on the former in this review. Part one provides a…