Facility Design/Engineering

Financial Benefits of Off-Site Prefabricated Cleanroom Infrastructures

Traditional cleanroom infrastructures, gypsum, or monolithic wall panels have been used in the past with varying success and benefit. One of the most often proclaimed benefits is the cost of those on-site built structures. Characteristically, the cost quoted at the beginning of a construction project seems to be attractive, but construction estimates are not better than ±50% at feasibility (preconcept) and ±25% at end of conceptual design. Given the above accuracy ranges, industry surveys establish that in most cases, the…

Four Design Factors Shaping Multimodal Cell and Gene Manufacturing

Cell and gene therapy manufacturing is about to hit a breaking point. The tension lies between increasingly diverse research pipelines and a tradition of dedicated facilities built for single-product, large-scale manufacturing. That incompatibility is widening as more cell and gene therapy products progress toward commercial production, forcing manufacturers to make a choice: either invest in major facility modifications and complex technology transfers to keep up or break from tradition and explore the potential of multimodal manufacturing. More than half of…

Toward the Point of Care: Flexibility and Decentralization Are Key to Making Autologous Therapies More Readily Available

Part of the advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs) class of therapeutics, cell and gene therapies (CGTs) can be either autologous, using the patient’s own cells, or allogeneic, using master banked donor cells. Global biotechnology company Orgenesis focuses on autologous therapies, with processes and systems developed for closed and automated processing that have been validated for regulatory-compliant production at the point of care for patient treatment. This technology could help overcome the limitations of traditionally cost-prohibitive CGT manufacturing methods that do…

Ask the Expert: Selecting the Right Buffer Management Strategy

Although buffers are among the simplest materials used in bioprocessing, they are critical to biopharmaceutical manufacturing success. Buffer preparation, storage, and handling can require significant investments in time, labor, equipment, and facility space. Jenny Dunker, MSc, and Alexander Troken, PhD (global product managers for customized bioprocess solutions and for process liquids and buffers, respectively, at Cytiva), delivered an “Ask the Expert” presentation on 30 March 2021 to explore strategies for intensifying buffer management. Available Options Biopharmaceutical manufacturers often prepare buffers…

Risk Considerations for Aging Pharmaceutical Facility Cleanrooms

Pharmaceutical facility cleanrooms are designed to reduce and control particle contamination and to minimize the ingress and retention of microorganisms. Such risks typically are easy to control in well-designed, modern facilities. But risk mitigation is more difficult in older facilities. There is no exact definition of what constitutes an aging facility (or what are sometimes euphemistically called legacy facilities). For example, a facility established 100 years ago to manufacture a simple tablet can continue to operate perfectly well with careful…

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…

Facilities Roundup: What’s Behind the Expansions?

In the early 2000s, the trade press was abuzz about an imminent “capacity crunch” in mammalian cell culture. Dire predictions of shortages were based on biopharmaceutical successes to that point, on bursting development pipelines, and on the lengthy timelines and high costs of assembling tens of thousands of liters of stainless-steel bioreactors and supporting infrastructure. Those predictions failed to anticipate several positive developments that would render doom-and-gloom scenarios moot. Notably, yearly improvements in protein titers for MAb processes already were…

Rapid Deployment of Manufacturing Options: An Analysis of Risks and Benefits

Biomanufacturers seeking the best approach to rapid implementation of flexible manufacturing capacity take into account the benefits presented by different modular construction options. We analyzed different approaches to building manufacturing capacity and assessed the economic benefits of each approach. Our evaluation was based on biopharmaceutical products for which there is an immediate unmet need, such as treatments or vaccinations for COVID-19. Such products also might entail a sudden increase in demand (e.g., expansion of a product indication or sales ramp…

Facilities for Novel Therapies: Demystifying Design and Engineering Requirements for Cell and Gene Therapy Production

Many veterans of the biologics industry presume that emerging therapeutics such as cell and gene therapies (CGTs) require production facilities that differ substantially from those for monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) and other conventional biologics. But experience with designing CGT facilities bears out that far more synergies than differences exist across facilities for conventional and advanced therapies. Herein, I call attention to some of those shared design concerns and demystify facilities and engineering requirements for CGTs. Observing the Synergies Many processes have…

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…