Facility Design/Engineering

A Risk-Based Life-Cycle Approach to Implementing Disposables for Facility Flexibility

Plastic-based, single-use, disposables has been prevalent in biotech/pharmaceutical manufacturing processes for decades. Examples of such technologies include filters, gaskets, tubing, sampling bags, carboys, and ultrafiltration/diafiltration (UF/DF) capsules. In recent years, single-use technology has made great leaps in broadening the range of options and applications available. Disposable bioprocess containers are now widely used for applications such as media/buffer preparation and storage, bioreactors and cell culture operations, in-process intermediate containers for manufacturing operations, final drug substance/product containers, and so on. Customized solutions…

Advances in Sensor Technology Improve Biopharmaceutical Development

Today’s biomanufacturing operations require constant management of biopharmaceutical process attributes throughout process development and production. Continuous online measurements of pH, dissolved oxygen (DO), oxidation–reduction potential (ORP), and conductivity (Figure 1) allow real-time industrial process monitoring and adjustment. These functions are crucial to process improvement studies and accurate, reliable manufacturing of high-quality products. Figure 1: () “In the pharmaceutical industry, it is extremely valuable to see how an attribute changes with time and correlate that change with parts of the process,”…

Global Evolution of Biomanufacturing

Biomanufacturing of human therapeutics is beginning a global transformation. New technologies, improved processes, the emergence of biosimilars, and growing worldwide demand for vaccines and biologic drugs to serve local populations are driving this transformation. Over the next few years, diverse new markets will open, creating opportunities for a range of companies seeking to enter the field while putting pressure on established biomanufacturers to reassess their operating models. Many traditional barriers-to-entry in biomanufacturing are diminishing. Yet other challenges — including access…

A Statistical Approach to Expanding Production Capacity

Contract manufacturer DSM Biologics — at its current good manufacturing practices (CGMP) facility in Groningen, The Netherlands — provides services for clinical development and commercial production based on mammalian cell culture technology (Photo 1). During the 2011–2012 year, the facility went through a major expansion project to enlarge its capacity and fulfill a growing customer demand. From a business point of view, the project had a well-defined target for future production capacity as well as investment volume. Photo 1: Photo…

Manufacturing Culture

Life sciences company leaders need to put the right people, processes, and technologies in place to create evolutionary cultures. Such cultures would embrace advanced manufacturing process intelligence and reap related business benefits. Since the late 1990s, my software company has helped biomanufacturers improve their process understanding. In that time, we’ve seen regulatory drivers such as quality by design (QbD) and process analytical technology (PAT) guidances call for improved manufacturing process performance through better process understanding and optimization. We define process…

Vendor Voices: Flexible Manufacturing

One strong take-away message from BPI’s flexible facilities supplement (December 2012) is that there is no single road to achieving a flexible manufacturing process. The ability to quickly modify a unit operation, process line, or entire facility to accommodate change certainly depends on several factors. Flexibility is no longer exclusively linked to single-use systems for one specific operation. It connects facility design, staffing models, and revamped technologies. Vendors and suppliers are hearing first-hand what the industry wants in flexible operations.…

Multiproduct Facility Design and Control for Biologics

    Multiproduct facilities are increasingly integral to corporate biologics network and supply chain strategies. Manufacturing capacity strategies ensuring appropriate facility design and procedural controls to manage the risks of producing multiple products are critical to the successful deployment of commercial and clinical supply plans. A Chemistry, Manufacturing, and Controls (CMC) Strategy forum was held in Bethesda, MD, in August 2011 to highlight various challenges, risks, and control strategies associated with multiproduct facilities. Multiproduct strategies for the manufacture of a…

Safety, Flexibility, and Efficiency

    International pharmaceutical and biotech companies are demanding solutions for current and future challenges of their industries — solutions that will stand the test of time while offering significant advances over current manufacturing techniques. Modern and highly proficient production lines for commercial manufacturing of parenteral drugs can represent a crucial criterion in the success of these companies. New and innovative high-speed filling lines for prefilled syringes present an excellent opportunity to meet current production demands. Following is an example…

Efficient, Flexible Facilities for the 21st Century

    A number of recent improvements in the engineering of high-titer expression vectors, in biopharmaceutical process development, and in facility construction have converged to present new opportunities for cost-effective, flexible, biomanufacturing facility construction. The evolution of requirements for biopharmaceutical facilities is driven by globalization of the biopharmaceutical industry, patent expirations of several blockbuster biopharmaceutical products, and the increasing shift in new product development away from blockbuster drugs and toward more personalized, niche products. An increase in product approvals (primarily…

Developing an Integrated Continuous Bioprocessing Platform

    Continuous upstream processing (perfusion) is not a new concept in the bioprocessing industry. Genzyme, Bayer, Centocor, and other companies have been implementing perfusion processes for many years. However, interest is now growing for extending this concept to downstream operations to create fully integrated continuous processing. During the past year, Genzyme has presented on and published about its advancement toward the development of an integrated continuous system (1). The company has completed proof-of-principle development at laboratory scale with different…