Special Reports

Defining Your Product Profile and Maintaining Control Over It | A Look Back with Emily Shacter

This is a transcript from a Q&A interview with Emily Shacter, PhD, Consultant, ThinkFDA LLC (former FDA Scientist and Regulator). We will be talking today about the CMC Forum that was published back in 2005. We are revisiting it in the magazine to specifically update our understanding of how to maintain process control; understanding your process. In general, how do you feel the discussions in the four-part paper from 2005 has held up after 10 years? Emily: I think they…

Process- and Product-Relate Impurities: Part 1 – Process-Related Impurities An Overview

Introduction by Cheryl Scott The CMC Strategy Forums focus on relevant chemistry, manufacturing, and controls (CMC) issues throughout the life cycle of a therapeutic and thereby foster collaborative technical and regulatory interaction. Forum chairs share information with regulatory agencies to help them merge good scientific and regulatory practices. Outcomes of forum meetings are published in BioProcess International and on the CASSS website (www.casss.org). This process is meant to help ensure that biopharmaceutical products manufactured with advancing technologies in a regulated…

Process economy and production capacity: Comparing single-use and stainless steel strategies for microbial fermentation

In recent years, single-use technology has been migrating into many unit operations.  With the commercial availability of such systems end users have a new option for process development and production that does not rely on operational complexities and utility requirements of conventional sterilize-in-place (SIP) or autoclavable systems. However, just as for cell culture processes, single-use technology may not apply to each and every fermentation or microbial process.  It is the responsibility of practitioners to properly assess their own applications, select…

Special Report on Assays, Test Methods, and Comparability The CMC Strategy Forum Series, Part 4, The Role of Higher-Order Structure in Defining Biopharmaceutical Quality

Cosponsored by CASSS (an International Separation Science Society) and the US FDA, the 17th CMC Strategy Forum was designed to explore the relationships between higher-order molecular structure and quality of therapeutic proteins and peptides, vaccines, and blood-derived products. Understanding those relationships is important to defining and controlling the critical quality attributes (CQAs) of biopharmaceutical products. The forum program highlighted the current state of the art for analytical tools used to monitor higher-order structure. Case studies demonstrating the effects of changes…

Special Report: Turning Discoveries into Products — Developability Assessments and Highly Efficient Process Design

High costs and long timelines for biopharmaceutical development are cause for reflecting on how best to allocate resources from the earliest discovery stage through critical go–no-go junctures. With inputs ranging from science, engineering, and economics, the coined term developability becomes the synthesis of answers to such questions as How well does the target represent a disease state? Does manipulating that state bring about improvement? Does the molecule behave as expected in living systems? What can be done about the emergence of independent safety, toxicology, and/or immunogenicity warning signs? Can the molecule…

Special Report: A World of Difference — Biosimilars and Biobetters Offer Unique Benefits — and Risks

by John Otrompke, with Cheryl Scott and S. Anne Montgomery When the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the country’s first ever biosimilar on 6 March 2015, it had been a long time coming. After all, the European Union had approved the first biosimilar in 2006, and a number of others have followed in Europe since then. Still, the approval of biosimilar filgrastim, a recombinant colony-stimulating factor used to offset the complications of chemotherapy, was a welcome step…

ISCT Special Report: Advancing Cell Therapy Manufacturing at the 2015 Annual Meeting

The International Society for Cellular Therapy (ISCT) will host its 21st Annual Meeting at Caesars Palace Hotel and Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV, 27–30 May 2015. More than 1,200 industry and regulatory professionals, clinicians, scientists, and laboratory professionals are expected to attend. The program covers six plenary sessions, six workshops, three technical sessions, and more than 20 total track sessions covering such topics as advances in cell therapy research, commercialization strategies, quality and operations, and regulatory issues. BPI spoke with…

Special Report on Product Stability Testing: Developing Methods for New Biologics and Emerging Markets

Stability testing is a vital part of product development and is conducted throughout a product’s life cycle (Figure 1). Stability is part of a biotherapeutic’s quality target product profile, and results help analysts understand how critical quality attributes (CQAs) of both drug substances and products are influenced under specific conditions of temperature, relative humidity (RH), light, storage, pH, and other factors. Manufacturers conduct stability tests to determine degradation pathways and establish shelf lives and storage conditions of their products, for…

QBD Manufacturing Strategies: The CMC Strategy Forum Series, Part 2

The CMC Strategy Forums provide a venue for biopharmaceutical product discussion. They focus on relevant chemistry, manufacturing, and controls (CMC) issues throughout the life cycle of a therapeutic and thereby foster collaborative technical and regulatory interaction. Forum chairs share information with regulatory agencies to help them merge good scientific and regulatory practices. Outcomes of the forum meetings are published in BioProcess International and on the CASSS website. This process is meant to help ensure that biopharmaceutical products manufactured with advancing…

New Paradigms for Process Validation: A Practical Approach

Both the United States and the European Union offer guidance on a life-cycle approach to process validation. This goes beyond the traditional three to five lots run at the center point of proposed ranges for operating parameters. New approaches leverage product design and process development information. They facilitate adapting the QbD paradigm to allow for a science- and risk-based selection of critical process parameters, key process indicators, and appropriate specification criteria. The number of runs for process performance qualification (PPQ)…