Information Technology

eBook: Automation — The Value of Plug-and-Play Automation in Single-Use Technology

The biopharmaceutical industry’s movement away from large-scale, fixed-tank facilities to flexible facilities featuring single-use technologies (SUTs) has demonstrated the value of modular equipment and agile process design. SUTs have proven to be clear advantages to end users because those technologies enable quick facility build and changeover times. But linking SUT equipment with equally flexible automative technology has been difficult. Herein a group of automation experts from the BioPhorum Operations Group (BPOG) elaborate “plug-and-play” principles and introduce a supervisory control system…

Smart Sensors and Data Management Solutions for Modern Facilities

Bioprocess manufacturers continue to seek technologies for increasing productivity and shortening timelines from discovery to commercialization. Innovations such as high-throughput systems, automated platforms, and the latest clarification systems all have made processes efficient and robust. And with the increasing adoption of quality by design (QbD) principles, including the use of process analytical technologies (PAT), biomanufacturers are mitigating the risks of errors in their operations better than ever before. A critical part of mitigating risk is gathering meaningful process data and…

Biomanufacturing Scenarios: From the Biomanufacturing Technology Roadmap

Drug Substance Scenarios Given the complexity of the biopharmaceutical industry and the increasing diversity of products and companies, it is clear that there will be no “one size fits all” solution to biomanufacturing. Instead, we see a range of biomanufacturing scenarios playing out over the next 10 years. Five high-level scenarios were selected for drug substance manufacturing and two for drug product to cover the full spectrum of process and facility types. Each facility type is associated with a representative…

Single-Use Technology in Upstream Processing: A Roundtable Discussion

The Sartorius upstream portfolio addresses key strategic challenges facing the biopharmaceutical industry: Increased speed to clinic/market and lowered capital costs, with improved process control. Fully scalable, proven process solutions for cell line, media, and process development through commercial manufacturing accelerate upstream development and simplify manufacturing. Novel high-throughput development tools for intensified processes incorporate the latest in process analytics, multivariate data analysis (MVDA), and design of experiments (DoE) software tools. These tools are designed to compress development timelines and to scale…

A Harmonized Approach to Data Integrity

Data integrity is achievable when data collection is complete, consistent, and accurate (1). Failure to maintain data integrity compromises a company’s ability to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of its products. Escalation of serious regulatory actions related to data integrity violations has prompted the need to assess data integrity compliance and implement systems designed to guarantee it. Comprehensive measures must be taken to ensure that data are attributable, legible, contemporaneous, original, and accurate (ALCOA) (2). Preventive measures need to be…

Opportunities for Modern Robotics in Biologics Manufacturing

It should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with biomanufacturing that current designs of bioprocess facilities as well as associated manufacturing spaces and support operations require excessive amounts of manual labor and manual interventions that lead to high labor costs and, consequently, total cost to supply. From receipt of raw materials to process execution and performance review, resolution of quality issues, and product shipping, no industry devotes a greater percentage of operating costs (or cost of goods sold, CoGS)…

Determining Control Chart Limits for Continued Process Verification with Autocorrelated Data

Control charts are used to assist in process monitoring activities. They use an estimate of central tendency (the overall mean) and variation (the standard deviation). Sample standard deviations (S) tend to underestimate process standard deviations (σ) when they are calculated using limited sample sizes of independent results (1). For this reason, the unbiasing constant c4 is used as a divisor when calculating Shewhart control-chart limits. If data used for control charting are positively autocorrelated, that tends to underestimate σ further…

Cell and Gene Therapy Data Management: Solutions to Address Complex Challenges

At the Phacilitate Leaders World and World Stem Cell Summit 2019, held 22–25 January, Steve Goodman (head of drug product manufacturing at bluebird bio) and Robert Di Scipio (CEO of Skyland Analytics) shared the podium to address what the product and process data-management ecosystem looks like for cell and gene therapy (CGT) development and manufacturing. A starting point for their presentation was that CGT development presents significant data challenges: capturing and analyzing product development and manufacturing data, tracking the collection,…

Development and Application of a Simple and One-Point Multiparameter Technique: Monitoring Commercial-Scale Chromatography Process Performance

In commercial-scale biopharmaceutical manufacturing, downstream chromatography steps are still a bottleneck and contribute to significant operational costs (1, 2). Some of those costs are inherent (e.g., resins, large buffer quantities, and cleaning) whereas others are avoidable (e.g., product loss due to rejected lots or deviations that result in production downtime). Maintaining efficient and robust chromatography process performance is therefore critical for minimizing operating costs. To do so, we introduce a simple and one-point multiparameter technique (SOP-MPT) for monitoring chromatographic process…

Multitiered Automation for Improved Efficiency of Bioprocess Analytics

The first biopharmaceutical, human insulin, was approved for use in 1982 (1). The biopharmaceutical market continues to exhibit healthy growth now, with the number of yearly patent applications increasing by 25% annually since 1995 (2). The total pharmaceutical R&D pipeline has more than doubled since the beginning of the century (Figure 1), much of that attributable to the biologics industry segment. As this industry has matured, new platform methods have emerged, and competition has increased. Consequently, the pressures of speed,…