Business

eBook: Biopharmaceutical Training — Designing Effective Adult-Learning–Based Programs

Biopharmaceutical industry training is imperative not only to ensure patient safety, but also to develop a skilled workforce that can support successful businesses. Current good manufacturing practice (CGMP) skills and behaviors are needed so that products being developed, manufactured, and delivered are compliant and within specifications. Individuals who fulfill roles within development, manufacturing, and delivery processes need some level of education to develop all the necessary skills and behaviors. Adult earners have unique needs and requirements that must be incorporated…

The Ultimate Business Continuity Challenge: A Case Study in Ukraine

The past few years have taught people around the world that “It can’t happen here” is never a good bet. From the COVID-19 pandemic to political upheavals to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, we’re all experiencing a reality that would have seemed impossible not so long ago. And as numerous analysts and experts discuss on television and social media and in other publications what such events could mean politically and socially, we at BPI must maintain our focus on the biopharmaceutical…

Good Biotechnology Governance to Combat Bad Blood: Using Cautionary Tales and Storytelling to Catalyze Start-Up Success

In January 2022, after months of proceedings and years of speculation, a jury found Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes guilty of conspiracy to commit fraud and multiple charges of wire fraud (1). The trial of her former business partner Ramesh (also known as Sunny) Balwani began in March 2022. Theranos, a private medical device company in the healthcare sector, aimed to change the face of blood testing through benchtop in vitro diagnostics (IVDs) that were rapid, highly sensitive and specific, and…

CMC Strategies for Expedited Program Development — Regulatory Perspectives: Session 1 of a CMC Strategy Forum

In response to increasing demands for expedited availability of biotherapeutics around the world — and with the ultimate goal of patient benefit — health authorities have developed accelerated regulatory pathways to reduce development timelines to product licensure. Because of the complexity and unique nature of each program and product modality, some solutions must be worked out case by case between sponsors and regulatory agencies. On 13 October 2020, CASSS–Sharing Science Solutions presented a virtual session overviewing currently available regulatory pathways…

Managing Host-Cell Proteins: Robust Risk-Assessment Frameworks for Process-Related Impurities in Biological Products

Although biomanufacturing processes are designed to generate highly pure drug substances, some host-cell proteins (HCPs) copurify with target proteins and thus remain in finished drug products. Biopharmaceutical developers are keenly aware that such impurities must be minimized to protect patients. HCPs can activate several kinds of immune responses in treated patients, including production of antidrug antibodies and induction of cross-reactivity with therapeutic proteins (1–5). HCPs also can diminish drug efficacy, potency, and/or stability (6, 7). Thus, regulatory guidances such as…

Hurdles Ahead for Cell and Gene Therapy Makers

Significant growth of the cell and gene therapy (CGT) pipeline in recent years demonstrates the enormous potential of these modalities to treat or even cure otherwise intractable diseases. Several CGT products have been approved for clinical use over the past five years. More than 75 such products have come to the market around the world so far. They include chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapies that involve genetic engineering of patient cells ex vivo as well as in vivo gene therapies…

Maximizing European Market Access: Guidance for Young Biopharmaceutical Companies

Achieving efficient and profitable market access for next-generation pharmaceutical products is extremely challenging. The number of drug launches is rising every year, taking competition levels higher with them. And because these novel products tend to be more tightly targeted to smaller patient populations than the “blockbuster” drugs of old, their pricing/reimbursement terms need to be tailored to match. This is especially the case with highly complex biologic drugs, which typically are expensive to research and develop. Below I offer a…

Bioprocessing Facilities in Asia Consider Domestic Alternatives to Western Suppliers

The global biopharmaceutical industry had been growing robustly even before the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the BioPlan Associates Top 1000 Biofacility Index and Biomanufacturers Database (1), bioprocessing capacity worldwide increased an average of 12% over the past decade. China has seen nearly double that rate. India’s bioprocessing segment also is showing strong growth. Because those regions represent 37% of the world’s population — and with rapidly growing middle-class economies, — demand for biologics there is outstripping that elsewhere. Historically, Western…

In Search of a CMO for My Biotechnology Startup: How to Navigate a Journey Without Process Maps

An innovative biopharmaceutical product can transform from an abstract idea at small scale into the basis of a burgeoning startup company. At that point, company leaders seek ways to ensure that a biologic will scale up in a quality-controlled, professional, and sustainable environment. That involves refining a research-stage prototype into a product that will be consistent and reproducible for research and development (R&D) and manufacturing and that will meet all relevant regulatory standards in specified target markets. Within the constraints…

The Biosimilars Action Plan: Promoting Faster and More Extensive Adoption of Biosimilar Drugs

The pace with which biosimilar drugs have been adopted in the United States has frustrated (and displeased) policymakers (1). After passage of the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act (BPCIA) (2) as part of the Affordable Care Act of 2010 (3), policymakers intended and expected significant reductions in expenditures for this class of biopharmaceuticals (4). The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) had predicted that the percentage of savings would be lower than that of the <90% reduction in costs for small-molecule…