Supply Chain

Introduction: The Ins and Outs of Market Demand

From transport and holding of bulk drug substance to shipping, warehousing, tracking, and distribution of final packaged drug products, biopharmaceutical supply chain logistics can be described as an industry in itself. And that’s just one side of the story. Even though much of the work of establishing and maintaining supply chains might happen outside the manufacturing environment, all organizations that develop processes and final products depend on having the raw materials and available components and resources to do their work.…

Standardizing Human MSCs As Critical Raw Materials in Cell Therapy Products: Streamlining Clinical Translation

Advancements in cell therapy, biofabrication, and synthetic biology have driven the growth of the global regenerative medicine (RegenMed) industry in the past decade. The industry has developed innovative treatment options for patients with otherwise unmet medical needs (1). Human or animal cells or tissues are used as critical raw materials in cell therapy products that can replace, regenerate, or augment patients’ diseased, dysfunctional, or injured cells, tissues, or organs. These cells or tissues can be unmanipulated, or their biological characteristics…

Spray Freeze-Drying Technology: Enabling Flexibility of Supply Chain and Drug-Product Presentation for Biologics

Biopharmaceutical drug substances (DSs) and drug products (DPs) commonly are stored frozen or refrigerated to maintain stability through long-term storage, handling, and transportation (1). Temperature excursions during storage and transport can affect product quality adversely by compromising the safety and efficacy of these molecules. Thus, cold-chain management throughout the shelf life of these products is a critical component in the supply chain strategy for them. The cost and complexity of cold-chain management is a well-known challenge faced by the biopharmaceutical…

Rapid, Reliable Response to Biologic Drug Substance and Drug-Product Supply Challenges

Scott Battist, vice president, general manager, and site head for the drug substance plant, Emergent Bio BJ Hull, vice president, general manager, and site head for the drug product plant, Emergent Bio Willfredo Mateo, director of MS&T for the Camden fill–finish plant, Emergent Bio Emergent Bio started by producing treatments for an anthrax emergency. Traditionally, this has been a biodefense company with contracts from the US government. The company is focused on providing specialty products for civilians and military members…

Dual Sourcing of Protein A Resin to Mitigate Supply Chain Risk: A Comparative Study to Determine Equivalence

Protein A affinity chromatography is a well-established technology that is used extensively for large-scale purification of monoclonal antibodies (MAbs). With this mode of chromatography, very high product purity can be achieved in a single, relatively simple unit operation. A solution containing the target protein of interest is applied to a liquid-chromatography column at near-neutral pH, and one or more wash steps follow to lower product- and process-related impurities (1). Product is eluted through application of a low-pH buffer. Finally, the…

Sourcing Clinical-Grade Human Tissue: Considerations for Supporting Cell Therapy Development and Production

The rapidly developing global cell therapy market poses numerous industry challenges for drug development, process scalability, commercialization, and patient safety. The processes of procuring donated human tissue for clinical applications are fraught with many technical, ethical, and legal issues. Allogeneic cell therapies involving primary cell types such as bone marrow mesenchymal stromal/stem cells (BM-MSCs), hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs), and T and natural killer (NK) cells for immunotherapy applications are especially challenging because of the vigorous process of screening…

BioPhorum Operations Group Technology Roadmapping, Part 2: Efficiency, Modularity, and Flexibility As Hallmarks for Future Key Technologies

For a complex biopharmaceutical industry, setting out to forecast future technologies must involve considering how such technologies will be used. In the first article (1), I discussed why there was a need to develop a technology roadmap for the biopharmaceutical industry and the trends shaping its future: namely, the introduction of new product classes, the continued growth of the biopharmaceutical market, pressure to reduce costs, and uncertainty in approval and sales of new products. Herein I discuss the technology roadmap’s…

Outsourcing to Enhance Assurance of Supply: Application of Counterintuitive Supply Chain Strategies — A Case Study

Single-use technologies have transformed biopharmaceutical manufacturing by providing tremendous and proven opportunities to reduce costs, improve flexibility, and shorten cycle times. The expansion of such technologies into commercial production has naturally raised new challenges for both end users and suppliers, thus driving the need for a critical look at risks associated with their use. End users now face a new challenge: how to assess their own supply chains for robust assurance of supply. What is the suppliers’ responsibility in addressing…

Addressing Variability in Product Labeling: Explore Dynamic Labeling for Your Global Enterprise

Adding to the complexity of drug-product labeling, companies face a broad range of evolving requirements. Those include regional, language, customer, and regulatory requirements that must be met quickly and efficiently to prevent supply-chain disruption. Companies that cannot meet those requirements can end up with fines, dissatisfied customers, and loss of business. Enterprise labeling solutions allow drug makers to deal with variability in labeling by providing label formatting that supports myriad different label combinations with a minimum number of label designs.…

Clinical Supply Chain: A Four-Dimensional Mission

A clinical supply chain fulfills perfectly all four characteristics of what Packowski describes as a “VUCA” (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity) world (1). In commercial markets, supply chains depend predominantly on consumer orders. For global drug development programs, both investigators and patients can be considered end consumers. The international journey of a specific investigational medicinal product (IMP) includes all of the following: global sourcing of comparators, manufacturing, storage, distribution, site/patient (consumer) management, and return and destruction of the IMP. Application…