Upstream Processing

Cell Therapy Will Transform the Future of Medicine

The third annual IBC Cell Therapy Bioprocessing conference was held in Bethesda, MD, on 21–22 October 2013. It brought pioneers in the development of cell-based therapies together with companies that have enabling technologies, such as bioreactors, cell culture media, and advanced monitoring software. After the conference, I discussed the highlights and key themes coming out of the event with Dr. Phil Vanek, general manager of cell bioprocessing at GE Healthcare Life Sciences in Westborough, MA. Also an instructor for advanced…

Single-Use Bioreactors and Microcarriers

Cell-based therapies hold promise for treating many acute and chronic diseases (1). Optimism surrounding that therapeutic potential has driven the initiation of multiple clinical trials in pursuit of such treatments. Procedures for preparing these therapeutic agents begin with selective isolation of cells from desired tissues. That is followed by ex vivo expansion of cells of desired phenotype and functionality. Once expanded to acceptable levels, cells are stored to preserve their viability during transportation to treatment facilities. The final step in…

Cell Therapy Bioprocessing Technologies and Indicators of Technological Convergence

The cell therapy industry is undergoing a natural evolution from scientific curiosity into a commercially and clinically attractive opportunity (1). This evolution is by no means complete, and growing evidence suggests that its progression is driving significant developments in cell therapy bioprocessing — notably, convergence. Table 1:&#8 194; () Progressively, bioprocessing technologies primarily used in production of noncell-based products are being evaluated for cell therapy bioprocessing applications (2). Consequently, this process of convergence is leading to an increasing proportion of…

Reference Standards for Therapeutic Proteins: Current Regulatory and Scientific Best Practices

Sponsors developing and manufacturing protein therapeutic products use a variety of analytical tests (e.g., cell-based potency and chromatographic assays) to assess quality attributes of their active ingredients and drug products. Those tests are used to assess product quality in a number of activities, including characterization, comparability, lot release, and confirmation product quality and stability. Reference standards play a critical role in calibrating and confirming the suitability of such tests and in helping analysts to draw scientifically sound conclusions from data…

IgM Purification with Hydroxyapatite

Hydroxyapatite (HA) has a long and successful history in the field of antibody purification, and it has worked well for immunoglobulin M (IgM) monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8). Applications range from initial capture to intermediate purification to final polishing. HA is best known for its superior ability to reduce antibody aggregates, but it also supports excellent reduction of DNA, viruses, and endotoxins. As IgM MAbs exhibit increasing potential in the fields of cancer and infectious disease and in stem-cell therapies, HA’s…

North, South, East, and West

Electrophoresis is the basis of all blotting methods, and BPI Lab covered it last month (1). Electroblotting is a method for transferring electrophoretically separated proteins or nucleic acids onto a polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) or nitrocellulose membrane for permanence using electric current and a transfer buffer solution. This allows for analysts to further study them using probes, ligands, or stains. Capillary blotting is a variation designed to work with capillary electrophoresis. After electrophoresis the following are stacked in cathode-to-anode order: a…

Enabling Technologies

Many technological advancements in recent years have enabled companies to shorten time to market, to better understand their manufacturing processes, and to characterize their products well. In BPI’s December 2013 issue (pages 47–50), I reported on the first half of an informal reader survey about those technologies, with commentary from some survey participants and others. This month concludes with my examination of analytical, formulation/fill–finish, and facilities technologies. Analytical Technologies After writing several installments of our new “BPI Lab” series this…

Ready-to-Use Cryopreserved Primary Cells

Abiological measurement of drug activity is perhaps the most critical step in the series of tests required for product release both for clinical trials and the market. This evaluation plays an important role in the stability assessment of drug candidates. According to the International Conference on Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Registration of Pharmaceuticals for Human Use (ICH) Q6B document, measurements of biological activity can be performed in defined animal models that demonstrate a measurable physiological change in response to…

Nucleic Acid Impurity Reduction in Viral Vaccine Manufacturing

Commercial-scale viral vaccine manufacturing requires production of large quantities of virus as an antigenic source. To deliver those quantities, a number of systems are used for viral replication based on mammalian, avian, or insect cells. To overcome the inherent limitations in production outputs with serial propagation of cells, mammalian cells can be immortalized, which increases the number of times they can divide in culture. Modifications that immortalize cells are typically accomplished through mechanisms similar to those converting normal cells to…

Accounting for the Donnan Effect in Diafiltration Optimization for High-Concentration UFDF Applications

The biopharmaceutical industry is targeting high-concentration protein formulations to enable subcutaneous administrations. Such administration can provide better patient convenience than intravenous administration. One challenge associated with high-concentration formulations is increased electrostatic interaction between proteins and excipients. That is a result of increased protein-charge density at high protein concentrations. Such interactions can create an offset between excipient levels in final products and diafiltration buffers in ultrafiltration processes. The effect of such electrostatic interactions in a membrane process is known as the…