Bioreactors

Single-Use Bioreactors: Performance and Usability Considerations, Part 2

As the biopharmaceutical industry continues toward streamlined bioprocessing and intensified cell-culture biology, selection criteria of single-use bioreactors (S.U.B.s) and other bioprocessing technologies will become increasingly rigorous, emphasizing the importance of considering every aspect of technologies under evaluation. In part 1, we discussed performance for process control, including the maintenance of critical process parameters (CPPs), and highlighted bioreactor performance (e.g., mass transfer, power per volume, and temperature control) as a critical consideration during the selection of S.U.B.s (1). Part 2 focuses…

Oxygen Mass Transfer Correlation for a Rocking-Motion Bioreactor System

Disposable bioreactor systems are technologies commonly used in bioprocessing. They provide cost-effective contamination control and allow more flexible facility layouts than do stainless steel alternatives. One of the most popular types of single-use bioreactors uses a rocking platform in place of a traditional shaft and agitator assembly to aerate and mix cell culture material within a presterilized, single-use plastic bag (1). The system studied here is the ReadyToProcess WAVE 25 bioreactor (GE Healthcare Life Sciences). In contrast to conventional stirred…

Demonstrating Scalable T-Cell Expansion in Stirred-Tank Bioreactors

Emerging cell therapies have excited the pharmaceutical industry because they indicate potential new pathways to treat some of the most life-threatening diseases. T-cell therapies currently are the flagship technology in cell therapy with recent US FDA approvals of Novartis’ Kymriah (tisagenlecleucel) and Gilead’s Yescarta (axicabtagene ciloleucel) treatments. Those therapies and others still in development use peripheral blood isolated lymphocytes (PBLs) modified with chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) or modified T-cell receptors (TCRs) to trigger the innate cytotoxic response of these immune…

Single-Use Bioreactors: Performance and Usability Considerations Part 1: Performance for Process Control

There is ever increasing pressure for the biopharmaceutical industry to drive toward higher efficiency and lower costs. Compared to the past, target markets for many drugs typically are becoming smaller, and so-called blockbuster drugs are becoming more the exception than the rule. Regulatory agencies have continued to increase the pressure on drug makers to meet increasing quality standards and accept higher levels of responsibility. Furthermore, customer pricing, healthcare markets, and recent biopharmaceutical pricing scandals all add incentives toward more efficient…

Cell Expansion with Dissolvable Microcarriers

In recent years we have seen an exponential increase in the number of companies testing and validating new regenerative medicine products. Many of these products are reaching late-phase trials with the potential to receive final approval and marketing authorization from regulatory agencies such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA). In the past several years, we have seen successful launches of regenerative medicine products, including Holoclar (Holostem Advanced Therapies), Kymriah (tisagenlecleucel, Novartis), Yescarta…

Reducing Variability in Cell-Specific Productivity in Perfusion Culture: A Case Study

Variation in bioproduction is recognized in the industry and often attributed to one or more of four sources: raw materials (including consumables), operational inputs (measurements, methods, personnel, equipment), environmental factors, and biological variation inherent to living cells (1). Variability can occur even among replicate units regardless of production mode (e.g., fed-batch or perfusion), and it can manifest as variability in productivity, cell metabolism, and/or product quality (2–4). In commercial biomanufacturing, meeting all product quality attributes is a requirement for regulatory…

Enhanced Galactosylation of Monoclonal Antibodies: Using Medium Supplements and Precursors of UDP-Galactose, Part 1

The biopharmaceutical industry needs better understanding of how monoclonal antibody (MAb) glycosylation is influenced by components in cultivation media — and it needs methods to exert some control over the structure of MAb glycans. That structure can affect MAb function. Thus, a high-throughput (HTP) assay is needed for characterizing MAb glycosylation so that developers can observe the effects of cultivation conditions on MAb glycosylation rapidly, with a goal of producing MAbs that have a desired glycan structure. The method also…

Simplify Upstream Process Development and Scale-Up: Single-Use 5:1 Turndown-Ratio Bioreactor Technology

Single-use technologies (SUTs) have been adopted widely in the biopharmaceutical industry for product development as well as clinical- and commercial-scale manufacturing. Over the years, suppliers of such equipment have addressed concerns about waste management, extractables and leachables, and reliability of supply — and as a result, end users have gained confidence in SUTs. Recognizing potential benefits that can be realized for both clinical and commercial operations, biomanufacturers increasingly are implementing SU solutions at larger scales in both upstream production and…

A Stirred, Single-Use, Small-Scale Process Development System: Evaluation for Microbial Cultivation

Mammalian and microbial protein production platforms have been used for over 30 years to produce a number of successful biologic drugs, including monoclonal antibodies (MAbs), recombinant proteins, and therapeutic enzymes (1). Most biologics are produced by mammalian cell lines, with Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells being the most widely used. However, microbial cells also are used to express recombinant therapeutic proteins, and almost 30% of currently approved biologics are produced by Escherichia coli bacteria (2). With worldwide biologics sales >56…

The Unican Concept: Engineering Dual Capability into Single-Use Vessels

Use of disposable bioreactors in the biopharmaceutical industry has increased gradually over the past several years in pilot, clinical, and production scale facilities (1–4). Reduced time to market in today’s drug industry has created a need for cost-effective development and production strategies as well as manufacturing flexibility. When compared with traditional stainless steel equipment, disposable bioreactor and mixing systems have smaller space requirements, are portable, and come presterilized to eliminate the need for preuse sterilization procedures such as steam-in-place (SIP).…