Manufacturing

eBook: Factors Affecting Scalability of Cell Therapies

The number of cell and gene therapies in different phases of development is increasing. The industry currently needs to increase commercial good manufacturing practice (GMP) capacity to keep up with current and future demands. Cell and gene therapy scale-up from clinical to commercial capacity levels can reduce cost of goods and thus price per dose.  An optimized bioprocess facilitates scale-up from hundreds (clinical scale) to thousands of doses (commercial scale). Different approaches for increasing scale can be taken. For example,…

China’s First Digital mRNA Vaccine Facility: Leveraging Automation and Digitalization Solutions

Vaccines against sudden acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) are designed to elicit immune responses that prevent recipients from getting — or becoming seriously ill or dying from — novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Two available COVID-19 vaccines are based on genetically engineered messenger RNA (mRNA). After administration, such molecules give muscle cells “instructions” for how to make target proteins — e.g., the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein. Immune-system detection of those proteins prompts creation of neutralizing antibodies. Immediately upon delivery of…

Flexible Vaccine Manufacturing: Collaborations Bringing Localized Solutions

The COVID-19 pandemic has become the most recent reminder of how accessibility to drugs and vaccines depends heavily on geographical location and a country’s economic health. Some countries continue to lack the infrastructure, regulatory support, and trained workforce necessary for establishing a viable bioindustry. Unizima, part of the Univercells Group, is a team of experts, scientists, and engineers that partners with public and private companies and other organizations to help build biomanufacturing capabilities in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). We…

Developing Subunit Vaccines Based on an Amphiphile Platform

Subunit vaccines stimulate immune cells by delivering selected components of a pathogen of interest rather than the entire pathogen. Elicio Therapeutics is developing subunit vaccines that target a recipient’s lymph node to elicit a robust immune response. The vaccines are based on the company’s amphiphile (AMP) platform (Figure 1). The platform-based drug candidates are targeting cancer and COVID-19. Their development would allow the vaccine to be stored without the need for ultracold and cold storage. Below, we discuss the development…

Facing a Unique Challenge: Building an In-House Cell and Gene Therapy Manufacturing Facility During the Pandemic

In 2019, Expression Therapeutics (ET) obtained investigational new drug (IND) approval for its lead clinical product. The third-generation lentiviral vector (LV) expresses a bioengineered coagulation factor VIII to be used in an autologous hematopoietic stem- and progenitor-cell gene therapy for patients with severe hemophilia A. Like many other emerging biotechnology companies, ET’s initial strategy used reputable contract development and manufacturing organizations (CDMOs) for vector and cell manufacturing needs and a prominent clinical contract research organization (CRO) with extensive experience in…

Multimodal Facility Design for Cell and Gene Therapies

Cell and gene therapies (CGTs) are progressing rapidly through development pipelines and advancing through clinical trial phases. Manufacturing capacity will need to be sufficient when such products are approved for commercialization. Thus, biomanufacturers are seeking ways to leverage multimodal facilities. I spoke with Stephen Judd, who is principal process engineer for biologics and cell and gene therapy at DPS Group, an engineering and construction management consultancy. We talked about design considerations for multimodal facilities, how such facilities contribute to overall…

Elevating Your Pharmaceutical Facility to the Next Digital Plant Maturity Level

Pharma 4.0 technologies, offshoots from the Industry 4.0 model, focus on introducing new technologies for increased levels of digitalization within the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry. Many companies hesitate to embrace the Pharma 4.0 concept fully even though digitalization efforts are leading the way toward new levels of efficiency and productivity. The biopharmaceutical industry currently lags behind other industries in implementing digital technologies because of its rigorous and strict regulatory requirements. Adopting Pharma 4.0 tools and concepts benefits manufacturers by harmonizing the…

Delivering on the Promise of Bispecifics: State-of-the-Art Bispecific Antibody Development

Bispecific antibodies (bsAbs) have transformed the field of immunotherapy. However, moving these life-changing therapeutics from the bench to the clinic can be time-consuming and costly. Further, challenges such as aggregation, degradation, fragmentation, and denaturation may ultimately hinder a program from advancing to the clinic. Partnering with a CDMO with relevant experience and technologies can be critical for safely and cost-effectively manufacturing bispecific antibodies. With Selexis’s cell line technology and KBI Biopharma’s manufacturing and analytics, we lead the industry in technologies…

Biologics Manufacturing Without the Big Bioreactors

Over the past few decades, the biotechnology industry has brought to patients a medical revolution with the most advanced medicine ever seen. Yet much of the world’s population cannot afford or get access to these breakthrough therapeutics. That is in part a consequence of the high associated costs of development and biomanufacturing, extended times for regulatory review and approval, and a lack of regional manufacturing and dependable supply chains (because of facility costs and a scarcity of expertise). The recent…

eBook: A Dynamic Control Strategy for Downstream Continuous Bioprocessing

Continuous processes can have many sources of variability. In downstream unit operations, changes can arise because of feed material variability, resin fouling in chromatography columns, column compression or failure, membrane fouling, depth-filter clogging, and so on. The US Food and Drug Administration’s guideline for continued process verification encourages biomanufacturers to monitor their processes and keep them under a steady state of control. One way to achieve that in continuous downstream processes is to implement a dynamic control system that adapts…