Analytical

Are You Missing the Bigger Picture with Your AAV Analytics? Fast, Low-Volume Subvisible Particle Analysis for Characterizing Viral Vectors

Subvisible particle (SVP) analysis is a key indicator of stability and safety and is an essential parenteral drug quality metric. Yet assessment of SVPs is especially challenging in adenoassociated virus (AAV) vector formulations, in which limited precious sample is available. Traditional SVP methods consume large sample volumes, while dynamic light scattering (DLS), size-exclusion chromatography (SEC), and visual inspection can miss aggregates in the subvisible range entirely. This special report introduces backgrounded membrane imaging (BMI) technology as a solution for detection…

eBook: Development of Bioassays — A Report from the BEBPA’s First Virtual Meeting

Bioassay development is one of the most challenging aspects of biotherapeutic development. These tests are vital to providing an accurate picture of potency, stability, and biological activity. But bioassay development can be complex and expensive — and often test results can vary. Cell-based bioassays especially lack robustness. In March 2020, the Biopharmaceutical Emerging Best Practices Association (BEBPA) presented its annual bioassay conference in virtual format. Here, BPI’s senior technical editor reports on the conference’s discussions. Read on to learn more…

Building Orthogonality into Biosimilar Testing

Both the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and European Medicines Agency (EMA) have developed regulatory guidelines on biosimilars (1, 2). These comprehensive documents provide clear guidance on what the agencies expect from structural characterization studies. Using state-of- the-art instrumentation and techniques is expected, but the use of orthogonal techniques in structural comparability assessments is also required. The application of orthogonal analytical techniques will provide a firm structural foundation to claims of biosimilarity. Characterization methods verifying and supporting conclusions drawn…

A Future-Proof Solution for Bioprocess Applications: The New Eppendorf Flexible Bioreactor Control System Evolves with the Changing Needs of Modern Biotechnology

In the biopharmaceutical industry’s quality-by-design (QbD) era, optimizing tools for process monitoring and control has become a major focus of development and manufacturing. This increased attention brings challenges into upstream and production processes, cell-line development, process optimization, and scale-up. Suppliers of equipment and technologies also focus on helping their customers improve development timelines. With that increased attention to speed, they are offering tools such as the Eppendorf SciVario twin bioreactor control system to streamline development and maximize flexibility. BPI spoke…

Ask the Expert: Best Practices for Aseptic Sampling from Stainless-Steel Equipment

Turn-key single-use aseptic sampling devices (ASDs) have diminished bioprocess contamination risks significantly. But depending on testing, facility, and storage needs, some ASD container types are more effective than others are. Bobbi Allen (technology expert at Sartorius Stedim Biotech North America, SSB) focused her 8 January 2020 “Ask the Expert” presentation on “what, why, when, and where” operators must sample aseptically from stainless-steel tanks. Using data from in-house testing of aseptic sampling containers, Allen offered key considerations for sterility, process monitoring,…

Better Bioprinting Ahead: Breakthroughs and Remaining Challenges

Bioprinted organs soon could revolutionize clinical trials, transplantation, and regenerative medicine. But as Chris Lo reminds us in a new GlobalData report (1), several technical hurdles must be negotiated before biopharmaceutical companies can harness three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting for such purposes. BPI explores persistent printing problems and promising solutions below by analyzing Lo’s report alongside commentary from founding editorial advisory board member Bill Whitford (bioprocess strategic solutions leader at GE Healthcare Life Sciences), Lev Gerlovin (vice president in the life sciences…

eBook: Sensor Technologies — Essential Tools for Bioprocessing 4.0

Sensors are essential devices that can be used for most, if not all, typical biopharmaceutical development and manufacturing processes to monitor fundamental process parameters such as flow, temperature, pH, and dissolved oxygen throughout all process stages. As the bioindustry progresses toward automation, digitalization, and other “Manufacturing 4.0” concepts, robust single-use and smart sensors for bioprocess monitoring will be needed. Read this BPI eBook to garner valuable perspectives on both of these types of sensors. Discussions herein focus on smart sensor…

Evaluating Biosimilars: A View from the Small-Molecule World

For many years the pharmaceutical industry was dominated by small (usually synthetic) molecules, mixed with a number of nonactive materials and encapsulated or (in the really old days) rolled into pills or pressed into tablets. Although synthesizing the active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), formulating the dosage forms, and analyzing the materials at every stage of a product life cycle were not always trivial activities, they were relatively straightforward. Most of the tools needed for analyzing/controlling each step of the manufacturing process…

Bioassay Evolution: Finding Best Practices for Biopharmaceutical Quality Systems

Bioassays help drug developers determine the biological activity (potency) of their products, which has been a biopharmaceutical critical quality attribute (CQA) since long before that concept had a name. Because of their complex nature, bioassays are among of the most challenging experiments to perform reliably with dependably accurate results. Consistent assay performance requires a controlled environment and qualified reagents; skilled analysts who understand cell physiology, regulatory requirements, and the latest techniques; and assay protocols that are intelligently developed, characterized, and…

Biopharmaceutical Product Specification Limits and Autocorrelated Data

Calculations, including statistical tolerance intervals, can assist in the development and revision of specification acceptance criteria. Manufacturing results for attributes of a biopharmaceutical product can be positively autocorrelated. The sample standard deviation — calculated from limited, positively autocorrelated data — tends to underestimate the long-term process standard deviation (1). In this article, simulated data are used to assess the relative performance of statistical tolerance intervals, intervals calculated using the minimum process performance index Ppk approach, and the sample range. Prevalence…