Information Technology

Preparing for Process Improvements: Discussions of the Cell Therapy Industry’s Supply Chain, Automation, and Control Needs

As editors, we are fortunate to have the opportunity to listen to biopharmaceutical developers and innovators discuss the intricacies of their work. Typically, we find that the best discussions come from asking two fundamental questions: What need did you observe in the industry that drove your work, and what technologies would help you do your job better? Over the past five years or so, the answers have shifted. Cell and gene therapy (CGT) innovators are focusing on increasingly complex diseases…

Rapid Development of Viral Vector Production Processes: Iterative Parameter Optimization

With recent developments and successes in cell and gene therapy, the biopharmaceutical industry is facing increased demand for safe and efficient delivery systems (1). Viral vectors, including adenoviruses (AV), adenoassociated viruses (AAV), and lentiviruses (LV), are among the most common delivery agents because they infect mammalian cells efficiently. Suspension cultures have become a popular choice for robust and scalable viral manufacturing systems. Using stable cell lines that integrate all or part of the viral production elements adds further benefits by…

Automation of Potency Assays: A Strategic Journey

Cell-based potency testing provides quantitative data concerning a drug’s biological activity. Thus, it plays an essential role in biopharmaceutical quality control (QC), good manufacturing practice (GMP) product release, comparability determination, and stability testing for both drug products and drug substances. Potency is a critical quality attribute (CQA) often scrutinized by regulators and reviewers. Test methods are specific to a drug’s mechanism of action (MoA) and should be validated to internationally harmonized regulatory standards (1). The options preclude applying a simple…

Using Prior Knowledge to Estimate Long-Term Variation

A reasonable estimate of long-term variation for a biopharmaceutical product critical quality attribute (CQA) can be challenging to justify, especially in the early stages of a product’s lifecycle when only limited data are available. However, if the combination of product and analytical method reasonably can be matched with historical data, prior knowledge can provide an estimate of a value. This variation estimate could be used to assist in risk assessments related to continued process verification (CPV) activities, including control charting…

Enhancing Vaccine Platforms: Computational Models Accelerate Development, Manufacturing, and Distribution

Pandemics such as the current COVID-19 outbreak pose tremendous healthcare and economic challenges. Vaccines hold promise for controlling pandemics; however, substantial challenges come with pandemic-response vaccine development, manufacturing, distribution, and administration. To address those now, many companies are using rapid-response vaccine-production platform technologies. Computational modeling tools could help further accelerate development of those technologies, increase production and distribution efficiencies, and reduce costs and risks once vaccine platforms are fully developed and validated. To those ends, a set of modeling methodologies…

Practical Considerations for Statistical Analyses in Continued Process Verification

Several statistical techniques can be used to assist in monitoring biopharmaceutical product quality attributes as part of continued process verification (CPV) activities. These include run charts, control charts, and capability analyses. Below, I provide an overview and recommendations on statistical strategies when developing a CPV program, considering the expected behavior of manufacturing results in the biopharmaceutical industry. Presence of Autocorrelated Data In a previous study, I highlighted the tendency for data to be positively autocorrelated (values are closely related to…

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…

Tracking Therapeutic Antibody Development in a Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has generated a significant and rapid response from scientists who aim to develop drugs and vaccines in the academic, government, and industrial sectors. Such interventions are essential to containing SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes the COVID-19 disease. To inform and educate the public about global efforts to develop targeted therapies such as monoclonal antibodies (MAbs), The Antibody Society (TAS) and the Chinese Antibody Society (CAS) have designed and implemented a freely available online database called the COVID-19…

New Data Analytics Tools Can Improve Bioprocess Workflows — If Applied Correctly

Biotherapeutics are a hot topic right now — and for good reason. But even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the biotherapeutics field, like every other manufacturing sector, was exploding with all the data that are being generated by recent innovations in equipment, systems, and processes. Advances in biomanufacturing analytics, analytical technology, and machine learning have tried to keep pace; however, such tools too often are misunderstood and applied suboptimally. Thus, many companies struggle with confusion and missed opportunities when they should…

Democratizing Access to Cancer-Related Proteomic Data

The US National Cancer Institute (NCI) has launched the Proteomic Data Commons (PDC), a next-generation proteomic data repository that will facilitate data access, sharing, and analysis to speed development of precision-medicine therapies for cancer. Housed within the NCI’s Cancer Research Data Commons (CRDC), PDC hosts several multiomic data sets that have corresponding genomics and imaging data elsewhere, simplifying their access to enable integrative research. Increase Access to Enable Discovery Mass spectrometry (MS)–based proteomic profiling for pancancer analyses could enhance our…