Fill/Finish

Aseptic Considerations in Formulation, Fill and Finish: Choosing Between Barrier and Isolator Technologies

Biological drug substances are constituent in a wide range of medicinal products with an even broader spectrum of applications. Those include autoimmune-disease treatments (e.g., for arthritis), vaccines, and recombinant therapeutic proteins (e.g., for cancer treatment). What such products all have in common is that they are manufactured using biotechnology and other cutting-edge technologies. Biologics are not as physically robust as their small-molecule counterparts. Hence, during biomanufacturing processes, these complex molecules present a number of challenges. Some of the typical shared…

A Holistic Approach: Bridging the Gap Between Suppliers and Biomanufacturers

How can biopharmaceutical manufacturers expect their suppliers to deliver what the industry wants and needs if it doesn’t communicate those desires? Without industry input, biotechnology suppliers are developing technologies “blindly.” Despite their having delivered great value over the years, together the greater community can do better. Aligned industry input is a vital element in the development process. Here we describe how two BioPhorum workstreams focused on drug-product development have worked to facilitate these communications. Last summer, the container–closure integrity (CCI)…

Closed-System Transfer Devices: Collaboration Provides Tools to Guide Compatibility and Stability Testing Strategy

Ever since the first biopharmaceutical product (biologic) was approved in the 1980s, companies have developed protocols and tests to ensure that such products are safe and effective. Biologics are very different from traditional small-molecule drugs, with unique risks inherent to their manufacturing processes. Biopharmaceutical formulations often present as complex mixtures that can be sensitive to heat, light, and many other factors, all of which must be monitored and assessed. However, until recently, developers worked mostly independently, with only their own…

Single-Use Technology for Formulation and Filling: A Case Study from Swissfillon AG and Pall Corporation

Swissfillon AG is a contract manufacturing organization (CMO) based in Switzerland. Fully compliant with current good manufacturing practice (CGMP) regulations, it provides state-of-the-art aseptic filling for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, from clinical-phase materials to commercial quantities. This CMO specializes in high-value, difficult-to-fill products. Swissfillon recognized that adoption of single-use systems (SUS) on a commercial scale required major improvements in consistency and reliability compared to manual operations at pilot and clinical-trial scale. The single-use formulation and filling process, which includes an…

Cold-Chain Validation: Emerging Vaccines for COVID-19 and Beyond Require More Extensive Evaluation

In the wake of fast-track approvals for Pfizer’s and Moderna’s respective SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, now begins the largest immunization campaign in world history. Its success will depend not only on the products’ safety and efficacy, but also on several mass-distribution programs requiring significant cold-chain infrastructure. The public has become acutely aware of the Pfizer vaccine’s demanding cryostorage specifications, generating considerable anxiety about how mass distribution will happen. Behind the scenes, however, cold-chain engineering companies such as Modality Solutions have worked alongside…

eBook: Formulation, Fill–Finish — Biopharmaceutical Drug-Product Trends and Technologies

As with many other aspects of biopharmaceutical development, evolving technologies are transforming drug-product development and manufacturing. In a November 2020 report on the Informa Connect “Drug Delivery Partnerships” meeting, BPI senior technical editor Cheryl Scott reviewed how new delivery-device technologies are bringing together companies with disparate expertise to serve patients with chronic conditions better than ever before. The ever-increasing capabilities of electronics and information technology (IT) not only are enabling development of “smart” delivery devices, but also improving the potential…

eBook: Drug Delivery —
Partnerships Are Key As Medical and Digital Worlds Converge

Drug delivery is advancing into a digital future. Information technology is changing aspects of every operation in the biopharmaceutical industry. Meanwhile, machine learning and cloud computing are not only finding their way into drug development, manufacturing, and distribution, but also into drug-product delivery devices themselves. As a result, many biopharmaceutical companies are seeking medical device expertise through strategic alliances and contract services. New delivery devices can help big companies extend patent protection on established marketed products, for example, and provide…

eBook: Formulation, Fill, Finish ⁠— Biopharmaceutical Drug Products for a Modern Age

Biopharmaceutical drugs are increasing in sophistication, requiring technological advancements to solve related challenges. The contributors to this BPI eBook highlight drug-product formulation concerns and collaborative efforts toward solving the fill–finish conundrum. First, the BioPhorum’s Scott Ewan describes a holistic approach to container–closure integrity and the organization’s work toward developing and expanding upon that approach. Ewan explores how advancing analytical technologies, risk management, and quality by design (QbD) are changing the strategies related to container–closure integrity, which remains a significant aspect…

Ask the Expert: Emerging Trends in Drug Assembly and Packaging

Thomas Gabriel (director of strategy and business development at Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies, FDB) emphasized patient agency in his 15 April 2020 “Ask the Expert” presentation on innovations in finished-goods solutions. Facilitating self-administration significantly benefits patients with chronic conditions, and new delivery technologies are making drug products increasingly easy to handle and with increasingly accurate dosing. Gabriel explored how single-use autoinjectors and prefilled syringes, needle shields, on-body delivery systems, and digital monitors are improving drug-delivery safety and efficacy while enabling patients…

eBook: Biologics Stability — Lifecycle Management of Drug Products

The biomanufacturing industry’s increasing attention to risk mitigation through quality by design (QbD) and the emergence of complex therapeutic modalities have driven the need for a lifetime-management approach to assuring drug product stability. To that end, industry guidelines have been (or are being) developed to guide the industry toward a “holistic approach” to conducting stability assessments. However, not all methods are stability indicating, and many more industry concerns need to be addressed. This BPI eBook offers perspectives on ICH Q12…