Biochemicals/Raw Materials

Recombinant Proteins for Cell and Gene Therapy Research: A Conversation with Shenandoah Biotechnology

Recombinant proteins such as growth factors and cytokines are essential for cell therapy, gene therapy and regenerative medicine research, development and manufacturing. These proteins are critical in the production of desired cell types and subsequent differentiation of cells, to deliver the desired effect. Founded 15 years ago, Shenandoah Biotechnology applies a proprietary method of folding and purifying recombinant proteins from both bacterial and mammalian systems to enable cost-effective, large-scale production of Cell Therapy Grade proteins to support these groundbreaking treatments.…

Spontaneous Infection: Did You Leave the Back Door Open to Your Cultivation Suite?

Manufacture of biopharmaceuticals using mammalian cells inherently incurs a risk of viral contamination during cell cultivation. If introduced, viruses can infect and replicate in cells used to produce a therapeutic protein or vaccine. The consequences of such contaminations can be dramatic. Not only can a company lose contaminated batches, but it also faces potentially extensive root-cause investigations, facility cleanup efforts, and introduction of preventive measures. Until contamination issues are resolved adequately, production should not be resumed, and facility downtime brings…

Ask the Expert: Leveraging Quality Management Systems to Achieve Competitive Advantages

During a May 2021 “Ask the Expert” presentation, Jigisha Patel (vice president of global regulatory compliance and technical services at Spectrum Chemical Manufacturing Corporation) emphasized the need to minimize supply-chain contingencies that lead to variability across raw materials used in biopharmaceutical manufacturing. Deviations in raw-material specifications can jeopardize good manufacturing practice (GMP) compliance and reduce drug-product efficacy and stability. Patel explained how her company’s quality management system ensures that bioprocess materials will meet specifications and process needs. Patel’s Presentation Patel…

Take Complexity and Risk Out of Regulatory Compliance

Novo Nordisk Pharmatech’s high-purity, nontherapeutic insulin is sourced directly from the Novo Nordisk parent company, the world’s largest insulin producer. The product consists of insulin human crystals that are biosynthetically produced by recombinant microbial expression in yeast. Insulin human AF stimulates the proliferation of cells and enhances the yield, and it is a key component in serum-free growth media for mammalian cells. Insulin human AF is used for manufacturing monoclonal antibodies, virus vaccines, gene therapies, and other biological drug products…

Raw Materials for Advanced Therapies: When the Process Is the Product, Ingredients Are Key

Scott Burger and Bill Janssen are both established, independent consultants specializing in gene and cell therapies. This past spring, we three discussed several aspects of raw material strategy for advanced therapies as well as the need for trained technicians in the industry. With a bachelor of science degree in biology from Tulane University (New Orleans, LA, 1983) and a medical doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA, 1988), Scott Burger served his residency training and fellowship at Washington University…

Cell Banking in the Spotlight: Advising Biologics Developers About Cell Bank Preparation and Characterization

Living cells are at the heart of biotechnology, and cell lines for production and testing of biopharmaceuticals are highly valuable assets. The process of banking cells generally moves from development of a research cell bank (RCB) based on a clone of interest to establishment of a master cell bank (MCB), from which working cell banks (WCBs) can be produced. Especially for biotechnology startups, preparation of an MCB can involve a significant jump from work performed in standard laboratory conditions to…

Compounded Media Powder Streamlines Cell Culture Media Preparation Operations

Cell culture medium is critical to cell growth, metabolism, and protein expression. It provides for optimum pH, osmolality, and nutrients in an environment that is essential for cell survival, growth, and expression of proteins and/or metabolites and drug-substance modalities of interest (1). A complete medium typically contains basic nutrients such as carbohydrates, amino acids, lipids, salts, vitamins, trace metals, growth factors/hormones (e.g., insulin), antishear factors, and other chemicals that facilitate cell growth and protein expression and may stabilize recombinant protein…

Fetal Bovine Serum Source Countries: Comparing Regulatory Animal Health Infrastructures

The motto of the European Serum Products Association (ESPA) — “Serum Saves Lives” — reaffirms the essential role that animal serum plays in cell-culture–based research and applications to protect the health of both human and animal populations. Animal serum, especially fetal bovine serum (FBS), needs to be available in abundant supply and at affordable prices to medical and veterinary facilities all over the world. With one billion cattle globally, the supply of FBS should be plentiful, but not all countries…

Intensified Seed Train Strategy for Faster, Cost-Effective Scale-Up of Biologics Manufacturing

The high costs of and limits on global accessibility of biologics such as monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) are focusing the biopharmaceutical industry’s attention on strategies for rapid, economical development of such therapies. Process intensification is one approach to help shorten manufacturing timelines and reduce cost of goods (CoG) (1, 2). Today, process intensification in upstream cell culture enables biologics manufacturing in facilities with smaller footprints and lower scale-up volumes than was possible before. Intensified processing of Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) clones…

Cryopreserved Leukapheresis Materials Help Alleviate Donor Sourcing Issues

Reliable access to high-quality starting material is a primary challenge in cell therapy manufacturing. Freshly isolated leukopak starting materials depend on donor availability and are vulnerable to cell losses from scheduling changes and other unforeseen circumstances. Flexibility often is required for cell therapy manufacturing. Therefore, relying solely on freshly isolated starting material is impractical, particularly when cell therapy logistics involve global shipping and distribution. Donor sourcing is among the most critical factors shaping cell and gene therapy (CGT) supply chains.…