Facility Design/Engineering

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…

The Pandemic Changes Facility Strategy: A Focus on Speed to Market Triggers Innovation

The push to expedite COVID-19 vaccines over the past year has led the biopharmaceutical industry to try novel strategies to accelerate product development and manufacturing. To compress discovery, development, and manufacturing into several months rather than a typical multiple-year effort has meant reexamining nearly every aspect of the process — including facilities required to house the work. Successful COVID-19 vaccine development undoubtedly will change biomanufacturing strategy forever. Previously, current good manufacturing practice (CGMP) manufacturing options were twofold: building facilities and…

The Difficulties of Manufacturing Cell and Gene Therapies At Scale

From large-scale manufacturing of one-size-fits-all blockbusters to small-scale processing of personalized therapies, the biopharmaceutical industry has undergone a revolution over the past decade. Among the standout milestones is the development of advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs). More than 1,000 of these research-intensive therapies are progressing through clinical trials toward potential commercial manufacturing. Cell and gene therapies (autologous and allogeneic) are targeted for many incurable diseases and conditions, including autoimmune disorders and cancers. Despite the excitement about ATMP potential, developers and…

Reducing Risk in Bioproduction with Facilities Equivalency

Providing consistency in cell culture media biomanufacturing is critical to supply continuity. Central to this is the development of redundancy and harmonization across a global manufacturing network. These unprecedented times have also highlighted the importance of strategizing for increased and unexpected demand. Read this Special Report to learn about the importance of equivalency and the strategies used to maintain this critical requirement at Gibco cell culture media manufacturing facilities. Fill out the form below to read the complete report and…

Case Study for a Facility-Fit Driven Process Development

Time to clinic and time to market are the key drivers for client success in the biopharmaceutical industry. Facility fit is becoming key to understanding process constraints and which aspects of the process have the largest impact on enabling facility fit. Process development with facility-fit constraints in mind will ensure a smooth technology transfer and shorten the timeline of current good manufacturing practice (CGMP) product delivery to clients. Fill out the form below to read this Special Report and learn…

How Much Harm Can a Single Droplet Do? Considerations for a Viral Inactivation Step

Viral clearance is a fundamental aspect of viral safety for biopharmaceutical products. Regulatory agencies around the world require biomanufacturers to segregate their operations appropriately to mitigate the risks of carryover contamination from previous process steps or product batches and of crossover contamination between product(s) made in the same facility. Guidelines are vague in defining “appropriate,” leaving biomanufacturers to interpret regulatory expectations and define their own virus reduction and segregation strategies. Given the differences among manufacturing processes and facilities housing such…