Special Reports

Raw Material Control Strategies for Bioprocesses

The 15th WCBP CMC Strategy Forum, “Raw Material Control Strategies for Bioprocesses,” met on Sunday, 11 January 2009 in San Francisco, CA. This forum considered the design and implementation of control strategies for complex raw materials used in bioprocessing. Discussion focused on key approaches and application of risk assessment tools that can be used to identify and assist in mitigating potential safety and efficacy concerns that can affect the quality of biological products. Two Sessions To fully explore the topic,…

Multiproduct Facility Design and Control for Biologics: Challenges and Considerations

Multiproduct facilities are increasingly integral to corporate biologics network and supply chain strategies. Manufacturing capacity strategies ensuring appropriate facility design and procedural controls to manage the risks of producing multiple products are critical to the successful deployment of commercial and clinical supply plans. A Chemistry, Manufacturing, and Controls (CMC) Strategy forum was held in Bethesda, MD, in August 2011 to highlight various challenges, risks, and control strategies associated with multiproduct facilities. Multiproduct strategies for the manufacture of a variety of…

Drug Products for Biological Medicines: Novel Delivery Devices, Challenging Formulations, and Combination Products

The importance of investing science and technology into drug product development has become evident as different product types, higher protein concentrations, and doses and requirements for improved delivery of biological drug products have increased. The need to give patients larger and more concentrated doses has challenged formulation scientists and driven development of new technologies that can deliver those doses. Delivery devices fall under device regulations and have distinctly different design, development, and validation requirements from those of protein drug products…

Special Report – 11th Annual BioProcess International European Summit

Now in its 11th year, the BioProcess International European Summit will host more than 400 bioprocessing professionals from adademia and industry. Five major streams, seven keynotes, poster presentations, and an exhibition hall will take place 14–15 April at the Swissôtel Düsseldorf Neuss in Germany. Together, these opportunities fulfill the conference’s mission: to be the event where the biopharmaceutical industry connects to share new ideas and innovations across all phases of bioprocess development. In two days, the BPI European Summit will…

Special Report: The Path to Vaccine Profitability

Managing vaccine supply chain improvements involves a complex interaction of laboratories, other facilities, CMOs, and suppliers. Since the business of making vaccines became a commercial proposition, profitability has often been elusive. The economics are difficult: Costs of development and production, already high, are rising. Profit margins historically have been lower than those of other pharmaceutical products, in part because of the complexities of manufacturing and distributing vaccines as well as their stringent safety, testing, and quality requirements.

The Single-Use Watering Hole: Where Innovation Needs Harmonization, Collaboration, and Standardization

Within the past few years, the single-use technology (SUT) arena of the biopharmaceutical industry has exploded in growth. Leading organizations have predictably and understandably stampeded to the “watering hole” of single-use to drink up the advantages that disposable components offer over traditional multiuse parts and technologies. The initial value and risk-reduction results are being realized — but not without the emergence of other trade-offs. End users continue to call for standardization in emerging areas of the industry while also recognizing…

The CMC Strategy Forum Series, Part 1 – QbD and Risk Management

Introduction by Cheryl Scott The CMC Strategy Forum series provides a venue for biopharmaceutical product discussion. The meetings 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. This process is meant to help ensure that biopharmaceutical products manufactured with…

Unwanted Immunogenicity: From Risk Assessment to Risk Management

Although vaccines and immunotherapies are designed to engage the human immune system in fighting disease, unwanted immunogenicity can be a major problem for protein-based therapeutics. Some patients produce antidrug antibodies (ADAs), which might lead to drug inactivation or adverse effects. Even human and humanized proteins have proven to be surprisingly immunogenic in some cases, suggesting that immune tolerance requires careful consideration in biologic product design. In rushing to deliver new drugs to market, some biotherapeutics developers have overlooked factors that…

Upstream Efficiencies, Economic Forces, and Changing Technologies Complicate Separation and Purification

When it comes to biotherapeutics manufacturing, downstream processing groups tend to get “dumped on.” Advances in cell lines, bioreactors, and culture media formulations have increased production output, providing both higher expression titers and greater volumes, but the filters and chromatography columns on the downstream side haven’t kept pace. These century-old technologies haven’t evolved as much and are reaching their limits. Regulatory agencies have contributed to innovation stagnation because they are cautious about manufacturing process changes for fear of undermining quality…

Evolving Clarification Strategies to Meet New Challenges

Increasingly efficient bioreactors allow biopharmaceutical manufacturers to achieve higher cell densities. That improved upstream efficiency has led to new purification challenges resulting from high product and contaminant concentrations as well as complex components. Therefore, harvest and clarification techniques are evolving to incorporate feed pretreatment, flocculation, and different filtration technologies such as normal-flow, tangential-flow, and depth filtration. The objective is to increase process capacities and filtrate quality, ultimately reducing biomanufacturing costs. New strategies for clarification of recombinant proteins (in particular, monoclonal…