Process Monitoring and Controls

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…

Ultrasonic Flow and Bubble Sensors: Optimize Process Quality in Single-Use Bioprocessing Applications

Process monitoring in laboratory and production environments enables continuous control and optimization of critical process parameters. Hence, the early detection of errors is an effective means of increasing process efficiency and reproducibility, improving quality and safety parameters, and reducing long-term costs. Highly precise and flexible noncontact clamp-on flow and bubble sensors are useful instruments to fulfill these goals. They can be applied effectively to buffer and media preparation, chromatography and filtration systems, bioreactors and fermentors, feed and transfer lines, and…

Next-Generation Biotechnology Product Development, Manufacturing, and Control Strategies, Part 1: Upstream and Downstream Strategies

Future biomanufacturing must address industry drivers, including the need for decreasing cost of goods (CoG), increasing market globalization, shortening development time for pipeline products, reducing risk to patient supply, and improving product quality. A CASSS chemistry, manufacturing, and controls (CMC) forum entitled “Next-Generation Biotechnology Product Development, Manufacturing, and Control Strategies” took place on 16–17 July 2018 in Gaithersburg, MD, to address those opportunities. Advanced technologies include single-use bioreactors, alternating tangential-flow (ATF) systems used during fermentation, modular and closed process equipment,…

Run Rules with Autocorrelated Data for Continued Process Verification

Control charts can be used to assist in monitoring of biopharmaceutical product quality attributes as part of continued process verification activities. A number of tests known as run rules have been developed to assess whether biomanufacturing processes remain in statistical control. In practice, results for such attributes can be positively autocorrelated. Simulated data are used to assess the performance of run rules with autocorrelated data to assist in determining risk–reward profiles for process monitoring. Autocorrelated Data The tendency for data…

Endotoxin Questions and Answers

Endotoxin — also known as lipopolysaccharide (LPS) — is a large molecule made up of a lipid and a polysaccharide portion found in the outer membrane of each Gram-negative bacterial cell. Examination of endotoxins is necessary for microbial and animal cell-culture operations that produce active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and vaccines. If a cell culture is contaminated with endotoxins, it could affect cell growth and function (thus potentially affecting product quality). Biopharmaceutical companies need to understand the endotoxin levels within their…

eBook: Raw Material Control Strategy — Leveraging Knowledge of Material Attributes and Data Analytics as Key Elements

Ensuring pharmaceutical quality begins with in-depth understanding of process/platform capabilities, which is informed by knowledge gained through product and process development, subject-matter expertise, and lessons learned from experience. And all outside factors that can affect manufacturing outcomes must be taken into consideration. Extra vigilance is necessary for understanding potential sources of variation and maintaining robust control strategies to ensure process consistency — and ultimately product quality for patients. Biomanufacturing unit operations require multiple raw materials that must be documented as…

Dissolved Oxygen Control Tuning for Cell Culture Applications

Proper tuning of dissolved oxygen (DO) controller proportional integral (PI) values is essential for optimal cell culture performance in a bioreactor. When DO-PI values are optimized, gas flows are smoothed, and foaming and cell stress are reduced. Traditionally, this tuning has been performed by using nitrogen gas to purge oxygen from a test solution, thus simulating oxygen demand. That method has several drawbacks, however. First, nitrogen gassing cannot simulate the high demands of high-density fermentation. Second, nitrogen competes with other…

Novel Integrated Raman Spectroscopy Technology for Minibioreactors: Accelerating Raman Model Building for Cell Culture Monitoring and Control

Raman spectroscopy is used widely in biomanufacturing as a process analytical technology (PAT) for monitoring analytes such as glucose and lactate (1). Predictive Raman models also can be used to control glucose concentration in cell cultures (2). The technique is becoming more popular for pilot- and manufacturing-scale bioreactors, but it only recently has been studied with minibioreactors for measuring analytes and producing predictive Raman models for feedback control (3) thanks to advances in integrated technology for automating sampling, analysis, and…

Quality By Design for Advanced Therapies: An Informed Route to Enhanced Late-Stage Clinical Success and Empowered Process Flexibility

As advanced therapies, including regenerative medicines, progress toward commercialization and market approval, early warnings from key opinion leaders (1, 2) regarding the importance of better understanding quality target product profiles (QTPPs) and critical quality attributes (CQAs) of such products have resounded ever louder (see the “Terminology” box for definitions). Costly late-stage delays, redirections, and even abandonment of clinical programs can be linked to quality issues associated with inadequate understanding of process and product. Therefore, a review of the benefits of…

Bioprocessing 4.0 Accelerates Biological Research and Development Using Computer-Aided Biology

Computer-aided biology describes a growing ecosystem of tools that augment human capabilities in the laboratory. In this report we give two case study examples of how computer-aided biology has transformed industrial gene therapy bioprocessing. Read on to discover how Synthace’s Antha cloud-based software platform has enabled industrial collaborators Oxford Biomedica and the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult to harness the power of Bioprocessing 4.0 by: incorporating new process analytical technologies (PAT), such as Raman Spectroscopy, into their unit operations automating…