Manufacturing

eBook: Vaccines — From Disease Prevention to Treatment

For over two years, the biopharmaceutical industry has revolved around rapid development, manufacture, and rollout of vaccines in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now as the world reverts to some sense of normality, demand has plummeted for the likes of J&J’s viral vector vaccine and Moderna’s messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine, resulting in the lowering of financial forecasts, ending of manufacturing contracts, and freeing of production capacity. But where do vaccines — the great pharmaceutical success story of the past few…

Addressing Unwanted Immunogenicity in Gene Therapies

Immunogenicity is the ability of a substance, such as a foreign and/or potentially dangerous protein, to provoke an antigen-specific immune response. However, some immune responses can be detrimental, such as in autoimmune diseases and unwanted reactions to biological therapeutics. The latter case can compromise biopharmaceutical safety and efficacy, and preexisting immunity against biologic components can preclude patients from receiving life-changing treatments, perhaps most notably in gene therapy (1). Gene therapies are designed to target the root cause of a genetic…

Building Manufacturing Capabilities for Adenoassociated Virus Vectors: Key Considerations for Facility Design and Operations

Demand for gene therapies based on adenoassociated virus (AAV) vectors continues to exceed manufacturing capacity. Part of the imbalance stems from the growing number of AAV-based candidates that are advancing through clinical studies. Zhao et al. report that, in September 2021, researchers were enrolling participants for and/or conducting 137 trials for such products (1). As of August 2022, three AAV-based therapies have received commercial authorization in the United States and/or European Union, and other products have received conditional approval (2–5).…

Statistical Method for Establishing Control Limits for Nonnormal Data Distribution: Focus on Continued Process Verification Monitoring

According to the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) process validation guidance, critical quality attributes (CQAs) and critical process parameters (CPPs) are used to assess the statistical stability of a bioprocess and its ability to meet acceptable criteria as a part of a continued process verification (CPV) program using control charts (1). For those control charts, control limits are used to assess the statistical stability of process parameters and attributes. When data are normally distributed, control limits are established straightforwardly…

Why Cell Manufacturing Matters: How Bioprocess Innovations Have Laid the Foundation for a Cell-Based Products Revolution

In the first cell therapy special issue of BioProcess International back in 2011, members of the International Society for Cell and Gene Therapy’s (ISCT’s) commercialization committee highlighted the need for cell-processing professionals who prepare bone-marrow and cord-blood products to collaborate with bioprocess engineers in establishing commercially-relevant manufacturing processes for a new wave of cell-based therapies (1). The emerging field of cell and gene therapy presented unique challenges for creating scalable bioprocesses under current good manufacturing practices (CGMPs) to accommodate primary…

Expanding Considerations in Cleaning Validation: Risks Posed By Indirect Product-Contact Surfaces on Pharmaceutical Equipment

Cleaning validation receives a great deal of attention within the biopharmaceutical industry, not least because of the risks of product adulteration and hence patient harm from improperly cleaned surfaces (notwithstanding additional concerns such as operator protection). Traditionally, cleaning validation efforts focus on direct product-contact surfaces. However, the hazard and resultant risk posed from indirect product-contact surfaces should not be underestimated. Consideration of the risks presented by indirect surfaces should figure into every contamination-control strategy. Understanding of these risks cannot be…

A Plug-and-Produce GMP Plant for Cell and Gene Therapies Part 2: Rapid Deployment of a Commercial-Scale Facility

Extending the use of approved advanced-therapy medicinal products (ATMPs) to the tens of thousands of patients who could benefit from such treatment requires a 10- to 100-fold production scale-up. Given that each autologous ATMP batch yields one dose for one patient, expanding production throughput is not a question of boosting volume, but rather of amplifying single manufacturing runs. That is, scale-up is actually scale-out, and the dimensions of the ensuing endeavor extend beyond what occurs in the cleanroom. Coupled with…

eBook: Drug-Delivery Systems — Measurement-System Analysis Using Gauge R&R Studies

When a biological product requires a specialized delivery device, the resulting combination product can introduce new types of quality evaluation. Product development brings together regulatory requirements for biologics and drug-delivery systems, and for many people on the biopharmaceutical side, that includes a number of unfamiliar terms, processes, and procedures. Among those are gauge repeatability and reproducibility studies for measuring variations that arise from measurement devices and the operators using them. This eBook introduces the concept of attribute-data gauge repeatability and…

Hardware, Software, and Wetware: 20 Years of Advancements in Biopharmaceutical Production, Part 2

The past couple of decades have witnessed significant advances in upstream bioprocess technologies and approaches. Since its establishment, BPI has been a facilitator of discussion both in print and at professional conferences, as well as in webcasts and news online. To mark the 20th anniversary of the publication, we surveyed articles published over the past two decades and found hundreds that highlight significant advances in both emerging and established themes in biopharmaceutical production: • “hardware” technology (e.g., analytical instrumentation, bioreactors,…

Future Supply-Chain Needs for Allogeneic Cell Therapies: Why Strategic Partnerships Are Critical

Allogeneic products are an attractive option for cell-therapy developers because multiple batches can be manufactured using apheresis material collected from one healthy donor — and because the resulting therapies could be made available as off-the-shelf products. The appeal of this approach is apparent from growth in allogeneic-therapy development. According to the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine, the number of clinical trials for allogeneic cell-based cancer treatments has increased by 30% over the past five years. Early in 2022, allogeneic candidates accounted…