Business

A Sustainable, Single-Use Facility for Monoclonal Antibody Production

Pierre Fabre, the second largest independent pharmaceutical group in France, recently opened a new facility to expand its monoclonal antibody (MAb) production for clinical supply. The Antibody Biotechnology Unit (ABU) facility was designed to provide needed flexibility for adapting to various process and capacity changes, so it includes state-of-the-art single-use technologies. The facility was also built with sustainability in mind to minimize the company’s environmental footprint. The company integrated this plant into an existing antibody research and development (R&D) center,…

Quality Risk Assessment and Management Strategies for Biopharmaceutical Companies

You’ve probably been hearing a lot about risk assessment in recent months. Indeed, some 15 times more articles have been printed referencing the concept over the past year relative to a 12-month period just three years ago. That truly represents a geometric progression. Unfortunately, very few authors have been able to disambiguate the different methods or provide insight into this time-tested, multiple-industry philosophy that at its core uses good science to make better decisions. When we undertake the challenge to…

Benefits of Business Process Management

The biopharmaceutical sector is synonymous with innovation. There is a general sense, however, that biomanufacturers often don’t “have their houses in order” when it comes to adopting efficient processes, communications, and reporting tools. Indeed, many companies still rely on outdated methods to support areas such as research and development (R&D), manufacturing, clinical trials, and sales and marketing. That is especially true now that the biopharmaceutical sector is undergoing an acquisitory revolution of both rival companies and products. The industry has…

Biosimilar Products

The Chemistry, Manufacturing, and Controls (CMC) Strategy Forum held on 22 January 2012 in San Francisco, CA, focused on selected scientific and regulatory aspects in the development of biosimilar products. Such products are an increasingly important area of interest for both the biopharmaceutical industry and its regulatory agencies. Biosimilars are highly complex, so scientists have been unable to demonstrate identity to a level typically possible for small molecules. Consequently, specific scientific and regulatory approaches are required to ensure the high…

Process Improvements Increase Production Capacity of a Legacy Product

Implementation of postlicensure process improvements in the biopharmaceutical industry can benefit patients and drug manufacturers alike. Here we demonstrate through a case study how a change to the cell culture medium and process can be taken from proof of concept through scale-up to demonstration of feasibility. We further illustrate the scope and complexity of implementing a change in commercial manufacturing to realize significant benefits such as increased production capacity over an existing legacy process. The Importance of Postapproval Improvements Drug…

Impact of Process Interruption on Virus Retention of Small-Virus Filters

Manufacturers of biopharmaceuticals using mammalian cell culture must have processes in place to minimize the likelihood of virus contamination of their products. Regulatory agencies provide guidelines for testing strategies and best practices to assure raw-material safety and control of the manufacturing process. Safety assurance relies on an interdependent matrix of managed risks, including characterization and control of raw materials, extensive testing of process intermediates, and demonstration of the virus removal capabilities of purification unit operations Figure 1:  () A dedicated…

Government Medicaid Reporting

On 27 January 2012, the US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published a much-anticipated proposed average manufacturer price (AMP) rule for implementing related prescription drug provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). The new rule will create serious financial, administrative, and operational challenges for the life-sciences industry. Nearly two years later, the final rule has not been issued. Without official direction, we can look back at the proposed rule’s purpose and recommendations for manufacturers based…

Emerging Challenges to Protein A

Protein A affinity chromatography has been a target for replacement since its commercial debut, mainly because of its high acquisition cost. The technique became established despite the cost because it was born into an industrial culture that favored speed to market over manufacturing economy (1). Vendors have since strengthened protein A’s position with incremental but worthy improvements such as higher capacity, lower ligand leaching, and modest tolerance of NaOH. Collateral improvements in polishing technologies, such as the high throughput and…

Spray-Dry Manufacture of Vaccine Formulations

Development of vaccines and immunotherapeutics has expanded rapidly due to technological advances in the fields of molecular biology and bioprocess engineering, as well as a smoothing of management and material logistics worldwide. Expression platforms and novel cell lines have enabled creation of increasingly complex vaccines. The advancement of vaccine formulation development is also capitalizing on new advances in manufacturing that use model-based methodologies gleaned from physiochemical principles, process analytical tools, and systematic approaches to problem solving. Herein we highlight recent…

An Industry–Academia Partnership

GE Healthcare Life Sciences recently launched a joint program with Osaka University to support future growth of the biopharmaceutical sector in Japan. Together, they offer students access to GE Healthcare’s expertise in training and technologies for bioprocess research and manufacturing. The program is funded by Osaka University as part of its “Interdisciplinary Program for Biomedical Sciences” (IPBS), a government-funded commitment to graduate education. The goal of IPBS is to educate young scientists to undertake global-scale collaborations to develop effective treatments…