MAb

A Convergence of New Products and Technologies Changes the Game

    Vaccine makers are leading the way — that’s something you don’t hear every day. For many years, vaccines were seen as “old-school” and less profitable than other biologic products — and they were the business of just a few huge companies. But thanks to recombinant technology, it’s a real Cinderella story: Advancing technologies led to what’s being called the “vaccine renaissance.” And now, vaccine companies may have something to teach their biopharmaceutical brethren. In April 2004, BPI may…

Effect of Sterilization on the Mechanical Properties of Silicone Rubbers

    Silicone rubber is widely used in the pharmaceutical industry, where sterilizability is an essential requirement for all fluid transfer equipment. Pharmaceutical products are sterilized frequently and repeatedly by high-level energy and/or chemical vapor to eliminate bacterial surface contamination. Such treatments may also affect the molecular structure of silicone rubbers, causing changes in their physical properties and performance. Several studies on this topic have been reported; until now, however, no systematic investigation has been performed on the effect of…

The Game Changer

Single-use technologies are coming of age and joining other driving forces to reshape the landscape of biopharmaceutical industry. This innovation has created new platforms for bioprocessing, offering competitive advantages and tremendous opportunities to current biomanufacturers. Moreover, the increasing acceptance of disposable systems with proven success will help enable niche products and bring emergent players to the market. The Age of Stainless Steel The discovery of DNA structure in the middle of the 20th century led to numerous breakthroughs in biological…

Road Map to Implementation of Single-Use Systems

        The Bio-Process Systems Alliance (BPSA) is an organization of equipment suppliers, service providers, and users in the biopharmaceutical industry whose shared mission is to facilitate implementation of single-use technologies in biomanufacturing processes. A key focus of BPSA’s core activities is to educate users and develop guides that help safeguard the quality of drugs and therapies produced with single-use process technologies. As an extension of its technical guides and white papers, BPSA realized the importance of developing…

Using Disposables in Cell-Culture–Based Vaccine Production

    A recent private grant of US$10 billion for human vaccine applications illustrates the revival of interest in vaccine science (1). The 2009 response by vaccine manufacturers to the H1N1 pandemic revealed the convergence of three technological developments. First is a revolution in technology: Vaccines are being developed for diverse and unprecedented applications through a number of entirely new approaches. Second is the recent adoption of cultured cell-based production for a growing number of vaccines, such as influenza. And…

Polymers and Additives Used in Fabrication of Disposable Bioprocess Equipment

The materials used to fabricate single-use processing equipment for biopharmaceutical manufacturing are usually polymers, such as plastic or elastomers (rubber), rather than the traditional metal or glass. Polymers offer more versatility because they are light-weight, flexible, and much more durable than their traditional counterparts. Plastic and rubber are also disposable, so issues associated with cleaning and its validation can be avoided. Additives can also be incorporated into polymers to give them clarity rivaling that of glass or to add color…

Improved HCP Quantitation By Minimizing Antibody Cross-Reactivity to Target Proteins

    Host cell proteins (HCPs) are process-related impurities derived from a host cell expression system that may be present in trace amounts in a final drug substance. During biologics development, it is important to demonstrate that a bioprocess is efficient in removing HCPs and that it provides consistent control of HCP levels. Several techniques are typically used for detection, quantitation, and risk evaluation of HCPs in biologics. The most common are enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs), Western blotting, sodium-dodecyl-sulfate polyacrylamide…

Nutrient Supplementation Strategies for Biopharmaceutical Production, Part 3

    Scale-up studies are needed for assessing cell culture production system options and for testing nutrient supplementation techniques as well. With the many supplementation options available, choices need to be made as early in product development as possible because advantages can change with scale. One published fed-batch scale-up study testing from 3 L up to 2,500 L highlights items to be considered in addition to the nutrient supplementation process such as the impact of pH and CO2 control (1).…

Primary Clarification of Very High-Density Cell Culture Harvests By Enhanced Cell Settling

    In recent years biopharmaceutical manufacturing has demonstrated major improvements in MAb production, exhibiting product titers as high as 25 g/L often associated with very high cell densities (1). High-density cell cultures with >150 million cells/mL pose a great challenge in clarification and further downstream processing because of a need to remove a large amount of biomass and increased levels of contaminants from cell debris generated during cell culture and harvesting. Production of biological substances (MAbs, in particular) usually…

Efficient Development of Stable High-Titer Cell Lines for Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing

Commercial manufacturing of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) commonly uses mammalian cells to generate large quantities of a drug. Identifying cell lines that stably produce high protein titers is, therefore, a critical part of biopharmaceutical development. Unfortunately, identifying suitable cell lines is traditionally a time-consuming, labor-intensive process. That’s because their productivity and stability can vary enormously, so large numbers of clones must be screened to find those with both the highest yield and a desired level of product quality (1). Cell-line…