Upstream Processing

A Novel 3D Culture System for High-Throughput Hepatoxicity Screening

Cells grown as three-dimensional (3D) spheroids are thought to more closely mimic in vivo physiology in terms of morphology, structural complexity, and phenotype. Being more physiologically relevant, 3D cultures can be highly predictive for compound profiling and evaluating cytotoxicity, a critical step in evaluating chemotherapeutic drug candidates. Unfortunately, evaluation of drug cytotoxicity traditionally has relied on the use of two-dimensional (2D) cell culture monolayers. When grown in monolayers, cells are not exposed to soluble gradients, are forced into an apical-basal…

Certain Approaches to Understanding Sources of Bioassay Variability

During lifecycle development of a biological assay (bioassay), identifying and reducing sources of variability might be required to improve method performance. Here I recommend some statistical and graphical approaches (consistent with USP <1033>) for practitioners to identify variation from experimental results (1). Sources of Variation in a Bioassay To correctly identify sources of variation in a bioassay, analysts must consider how that bioassay is to be executed. In particular, the experience and technical expertise of each analyst expected to execute…

Improving Bioreactor Performance Measuring Dissolved Oxygen to Determine kLa

In recent years the biopharmaceutical industry has significantly increased the demands it makes on bioreactor systems. Efficient and reproducible production of active pharmaceuticals of high quality and in large quantities is of highest priority. However, bioprocessing is a complex topic. Numerous factors affect growth of cells in culture but are difficult to determine and interpret reliably. One of the most relevant performance parameters is the volumetric mass transfer coefficient (kLa). It describes the efficiency of gas transfer (e.g., oxygen) from…

Cell Culture Media: An Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient or Ancillary Material?

Cell-based therapies are used to treat diseases that require the replacement of diseased, dysfunctional, and injured cells (1). To produce these therapies, a wide range of reagents and materials such as antibodies, growth factors, and enzymes are used in their manufacturing processes. Such necessary materials are administered through a cell culture medium. Active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) are the main ingredients that make products therapeutic. Ancillary materials (AMs) and raw materials (RMs) are essential components used during production but are not…

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…

Accelerating Intensified Bioprocesses with High-Throughput Small-Scale Tools

While many biopharmaceutical companies are exploring paths toward continuous processing, many tools already exist for implementing process intensification. As the authors of this special report illustrate, hybrid continuous processes that benefit from single-use technologies along with continuing improvements in perfusion cell culture already now are enabling improvements in cost reduction and accelerating time to market. And novel high-throughput and automated small-scale systems are helping development scientists gather more information in less time than before, reduce their development footprints, and make…

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…

eBook: Raw Materials Quality, Processing, and Storage — A Manufacturing Case Study

Raw material storage, handling, and processing are essential to ensure high product quality and consistent process performance. Slight variabilities in raw materials (either inherent in the material or through processing) can compromise yield and even result in batch loss. On Tuesday 26 September 2017 speakers at the BioProcess International Conference (part of Biotech Week Boston) addressed raw material variability and control strategies in biomanufacturing. They discussed the industry’s initiative for raw material risk assessments and strategies to control variability by…