Manufacturing Contract Services

When Is a Virtual Business Model Suitable for Biopharmaceutical Companies?

Virtual companies are based on the model that all activities are outsourced. Such companies have no (or few) employees, occupy no laboratory space, and use contract service organizations for all activities. Over the past decade, several virtual biopharmaceutical companies have formed (1–4). They are primarily start-up ventures that use contract research organizations (CROs) for R&D and contract manufacturing organizations (CMOs) for product manufacturing. By contrast, a fully integrated biopharmaceutical company is based on the model that all activities are internal to…

Modern Technology Transfer Strategies for Biopharmaceutical Companies

Application of industrial biotechnology has changed dramatically over the past decade. Stainless steel process equipment has largely given way to disposable systems, facilitating easier and quicker process configurations and up-scaling. Suppliers generally made incremental advances in the quality of raw materials and consumables to ensure that those could more readily comply, “off the shelf,” with regulatory expectations. Once out-of-reach analytical equipment such as mass spectrometers and cell analyzers are becoming more common place in development laboratories, which better enables biopharmaceutical…

A Multidisciplinary Approach to Manufacturing Biotherapeutics

Optimizing antibody manufacturing processes has gone beyond the first-order goal of achieving elevated protein titers and now also focuses on understanding biologic and manufacturing process variables that define cellular machinery and protein quality. A holistic approach to biotherapeutic manufacturing incorporates several applied disciplines such as biology, engineering, process control, signal processing, and modeling to reduce the “black-box” model of cell- based protein production into an operational design space. This is in line with the US Food and Drug Administration’s quality…

Build, Buy . . . or “Rent” Capacity? A New GMP Biomanufacturing Business Model

When it’s time to move from preclinical to clinical-phase product testing, many biopharmaceutical companies face a difficult decision: whether to build or buy a biomanufacturing facility for in-house production or outsource the work to a contract manufacturing organization (CMO). Accinov is a new company that straddles the line between those concepts. Its new biomanufacturing center supports client companies toward clinical development in an innovative way. We propose a groundbreaking model for running good manufacturing practice (GMP) biomanufacturing. Our company’s approach…

Bioprocessing Challenges of Antibody–Drug Conjugates

Development of highly potent active pharmaceutical ingredients (HPAPIs) is clearly a pharmaceutical industry trend. Highly potent drug products involve active agents and APIs that are so potent therapeutically (or simply just outright toxic) even in small dose that special precautions are required during their manufacture — particularly when handling the active agents. Such requirements include maximal containment and isolation of the process stream. Worker exposure and environmental release clearly pose problems. The necessity and intensity of containment efforts with HPAPIs…

Using a CMO for Your ADC: Access Analytical and Manufacturing Platforms, Specialized Facilities, and Expertise

[Audio Recording] Antibody–drug conjugates (ADCs) are an exciting new area of therapeutics. They bring the “magic bullet” that was promised by Paul Ehrlich over a hundred years ago to reality by targeting cancer cells to deliver chemotherapies without poisoning a patient’s whole body. ADCs offer a promising form of therapy by providing higher safety margins than traditional chemotherapeutics alone, and they make selectivity possible. We should be able to personalize a therapy to the specific cancer expressed in a given…

BPI Theater at the 2014 BIO Convention

When we launched the BioProcess Theater series at the Biotechnology Industry Organization’s International Convention in 2007, we hoped that our special programming would fill a need within that event’s exhibit hall. We wanted to bring into the hall the type of technical presentations that are not generally part of the main event’s more executive-level, business-focused programming.It has therefore been especially gratifying to see our attendance growing every year — such that standing-room-only is becoming more the rule than the exception.…

Managing Contract Relationships with Quality Agreements: Keeping in Mind the New FDA Guidance

Using contract manufacturing organizations (CMOs) to augment your supply chain is not a new phenomenon in the pharmaceutical industry. One of my first projects in industry involved developing a process for a recombinant protein while manufacturing materials for clinical trials. My team recognized that the company did not have the money to build a plant for manufacturing an unproven product, and it was not bullish to the risk of investing, so we turned to a contract manufacturer in Austria. That…

Manufacturers Open Their Wallets for Outsourcing: Accessing Technical Expertise and Cutting Costs

Budgets for outsourcing activities have rebounded in recent years as outsourcing has gradually become a more common and core strategic decision made by bioprocessing companies. Some of the increase in outsourcing activity over the past few years has no doubt been spurred by cost-cutting behavior. But increasing evidence indicates that contract manufacturing organizations (CMOs) are providing specific technical skills that clients may have shed during leaner recession years. In our latest annual industry report (1), we take a close look…

Managing Collaboration Across the Extended Organization

In an increasingly competitive life-science landscape that includes numerous mergers, acquisitions, and changing business models, the demand for collaboration is increasing at such a pace that it exceeds information technology (IT) capabilities. The need to manage and control this collaboration across the supply chain has become mandatory. That is particularly true for larger organizations with hundreds or thousands of partners that are finding new ways to connect, interact, and conduct business. Individual businesses are forming contractual affiliations that extend beyond…