Manufacturing

Partnerships Are Crucial to Getting Advanced Treatments to Market

New treatments and approaches for tackling serious diseases are being developed using cell and gene therapy (CGT). CGTs are adding a new dimension to the way patients with such conditions can be treated in modern healthcare. But these advanced treatments require complex research, development, and manufacturing processes. CGTs are related and to a degree interchangeable. However, gene therapies typically use some kind of genetic delivery system, (e.g., virus-based vectors) to treat a disease by replacing a malfunctioning gene or introducing…

Advancing Logistics for ATMP Manufacturing

Advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs) hold much potential for improving healthcare. They offer hope for treating or even curing patients. The biopharmaceutical industry has recognized the importance of making such therapies accessible to as many people as possible. To provide personalized ATMPs, biomanufacturers are shifting toward flexible, patient-centered production processes. A Paradigm Shift in ATMP Manufacturing Ex vivo cell and gene therapies are particularly promising approaches to personalized regenerative medicine. Thus, it is no surprise that the numbers of US…

Advanced-Therapy Automation Capabilities Can Increase Efficiencies and Reduce Costs

The cell and gene therapy (CGT) industry has grown out of disparate groups of developers, suppliers, and service providers. Players in the sector must collaborate if we expect to commercialize new therapies at scale. Despite concerted efforts in the field, however, the critical question of how to automate CGT production has yet to be answered. Without automated processes in place, the sector risks spiraling costs and operational inefficiencies that could inhibit patient access to much-needed therapies. Understanding such concerns, several…

Navigating New Options for Commercial-Scale Biopharmaceutical Production

Scalability remains a critically important topic for biopharmaceutical companies. For conventional protein products, the strategy once was straightforward: Drug makers would scale up, beginning with cultures in flasks and roller bottles to grow enough cells to inoculate laboratory-scale (often glass) bioreactors, then again to pilot- and commercial-scale, stainless-steel, stirred-tank bioreactors. At their highest volumes, such reactors can handle tens of thousands of liters of cells and growth media. If a drug developer did not have the requisite equipment to scale…

Boosting Yield and Preserving Quality: Increasing Production of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells for Cell Therapy and Regenerative Medicine Applications

Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are promising starting materials for several clinical and industrial applications in cell therapy production, drug discovery, and in vitro screening. But as I learned from Maxime Feyeux (cofounder and chief science officer of TreeFrog Therapeutics in Bordeaux, France), such cells are a relatively new option in the toolbox of cell therapy developers. Advanced-therapy products can require controlled proliferation and differentiation of millions or even billions of iPSCs depending on the clinical indication, he pointed out,…

Reducing Downstream Scale-Up Needs: Advances Toward Continuous Downstream Processing

The biopharmaceutical industry generally acknowledges that upstream and downstream aspects of drug-substance manufacturing are experiencing a capacity mismatch. Today, many recombinant proteins can be produced at expression titers of 3 g/L, with some yields exceeding 10 g/L. Such titers represent 100-fold increases in production capability compared with values from twenty years ago (1, 2). Increases in cell-culture density and improvements to perfusion-mode bioreactor systems hold promise for increasing yields further still. Such developments, combined with the broad availability of concentrated…

Scaling AAV Production: Easing the Transition from Laboratory Scales to Commercial Manufacturing

Adenoassociated virus (AAV) has emerged as the leading vector for gene therapy delivery. Compared with options such as lentivirus and adenovirus, AAV exhibits a strong safety profile because it has low pathogenicity and requires a helper virus to replicate. AAV is also capable of long-term gene expression, and it can infect both dividing and nondividing cells (1–5). Developers of advanced therapies have found such advantages to be quite attractive. As of January 2021, two gene therapy products have gained US…

Smart, Real-Time Quality Insights Boost Life Sciences Manufacturing

The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a light on restrictive business processes, information silos, and poor supply-chain visibility in many sectors. In biopharmaceutical manufacturing, for example, difficulties associated with product-quality management have been exposed and starkly felt. However, public healthcare measures over the past 18 months have put physical distance between team members, thereby hampering the usual form-filling, manual sign-offs and spreadsheet-based recordkeeping associated with monitoring traditional manufacturing processes. In some cases, a lack of formal face-to-face discussions in the workplace…

A Missing Link to Achieving Higher Vaccination Rates in Developing Countries

Puerto Rico is leading COVID-19 vaccination efforts in the United States, with 89.7% of adults already fully vaccinated (1). However, many other regions are struggling to gain that level of traction, if any. Less than 1% of people in developing countries are fully vaccinated (2). Because Pfizer–BioNTech’s and Moderna’s respective mRNA-based SARS-CoV-2 vaccines still require ultracold temperatures for long-term storage, vaccine distribution in remote locations is arduous without appropriate cold-chain infrastructure. Puerto Rico’s success in vaccinating its population demonstrates how…

eBook: Gene Therapies —
Developers Slowly Emerge from a Pandemic

This eBook gauges shifting expectations for the gene therapy industry amid the COVID-related uncertainties and clinical setbacks of the past couple years. BioProcess Insider founding editor Dan Stanton reports on the January 2022 Phacilitate Advanced Therapies Week event, specifically a standing presentation on the 10 most important industry drivers from the past year. Since 2017, advancements in gene therapies have featured prominently in these presentations. In 2021, gene therapies again made the list, but this time for more troubling reasons,…