Manufacturing

Process Intensification of Viral-Based Vaccines: Where Are the Bottlenecks?

In the current coronavirus pandemic, the ability to scale up and produce viral-based vaccines (attenuated viral vaccines, inactivated viral vaccines, and viral vector vaccines) quickly and in large quantities has never before been more relevant. For viral-based vaccines that can be produced by adherent or suspension cell culture, process intensification — in which cell culture, for example, is optimized to produce higher viral titers using the same process equipment — offers a strategy to produce larger numbers of doses in…

Managing Risk in Single-Use Systems Design and Implementation: A Shared Responsibility

Managing risk in single-use systems design and implementation is a shared responsibility. The ultimate responsibility for drug processes and products will always remain with manufacturers. However, implementation of single-use systems can shift responsibilities to suppliers within key areas, including design and sterilization, which must be clearly controlled and validated. This Special Report discusses how suppliers and manufacturers when working together can mitigate the risk of applying single-use systems in biopharmaceutical production from design through validation to point-of-use testing and operator…

Challenges and Benefits of Networking Process Control Manufacturing Systems: Integration to Business Systems in Industry 4.0

Networking of manufacturing process control systems can lead to benefits of efficiency, increased productivity, and better facility use, leading to lower cost of goods (CoG). Furthermore, integration of manufacturing systems with manufacturing execution systems (MESs) upward to an enterprise resource planning (ERP) business system improves overall organizational efficiency. An ERP system enables optimization of intrafacility manufacturing resources. For multiple manufacturing facilities, it facilitates optimization across a company’s manufacturing network. Enabling Technologies and Systems At the enterprise resource planning level (Figure…

Designing the Right Strategy for Digital Transformation: How a Pragmatic Approach to Digital Transformation Can Help Biomanufacturers Adapt to a Challenging Future

Although the biopharmaceutical industry has enjoyed explosive growth over the past three decades, it still faces an assortment of challenges. Those include growing portfolio complexities, increased demand volatility, stringent regulatory requirements, increased pricing pressures, and growing technological complexities, all leading to severe pressure on profit margins. To overcome such pressures, biopharmaceutical operations need to become more reliable and agile, and they must realize efficiency gains in both manufacturing and supply chains. Digital transformation offers strong value opportunities, including a potential…

Gene Therapy Trends and Future Prospects

Gene therapy is defined as the transfer of genetic information to a patient for treatment of a disease. Clinical investigation of such therapies began in 1990 with a treatment for a rare immunodeficiency disorder and since has expanded to almost 1,000 clinical studies in 2019 (1, 2). In its most straightforward incarnation, the goal of gene therapy for genetic diseases is long-term expression of a transferred gene at levels that are high enough to be therapeutic, an approach sometimes called…

Cell and Gene Therapies Get a Reality Check: A Conversation with Anthony Davies of Dark Horse Consulting Group

As founder of cell and gene therapy (CGT) specialist firm Dark Horse Consulting Group in California, Anthony Davies speaks from a quarter century of experience including former positions at Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Syrrx, ZymeQuest, Serologicals, Geron Corporation, Capricor, and 4D Molecular Therapeutics — and he currently serves on the board of directors for TrakCel and the scientific advisory boards for Akron Biotech and BioLife Solutions. In his plenary address at the Phacilitate 2020 Leaders World conference (part of Advanced Therapies Week…

Quality By Design for Advanced Therapies: An Informed Route to Enhanced Late-Stage Clinical Success and Empowered Process Flexibility

As advanced therapies, including regenerative medicines, progress toward commercialization and market approval, early warnings from key opinion leaders (1, 2) regarding the importance of better understanding quality target product profiles (QTPPs) and critical quality attributes (CQAs) of such products have resounded ever louder (see the “Terminology” box for definitions). Costly late-stage delays, redirections, and even abandonment of clinical programs can be linked to quality issues associated with inadequate understanding of process and product. Therefore, a review of the benefits of…

Transforming Personalized Medicine into Off-the-Shelf Cell Therapies

Initial progress in cell and gene therapy has seen 12 advanced therapeutic medicinal products (ATMPs) become available on the market in 2019 for a range of conditions, from monogenic diseases to cancer. Despite such progress, development of clinically and commercially successful cell therapies presents manufacturability challenges and questions about bypassing patients’ immune systems. The availability of rapid sequencing and next-generation bioinformatics has made it possible to understand the mechanisms of disease better and accelerate development of therapeutic responses. The same…

Sharing Viral Vector Expertise: A Conversation with Yposkesi’s Chief Executive Officer

As a full-service contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) specializing in gene therapy development, Yposkesi produces recombinant adenoassociated virus (AAV) and lentivirus (LV) vectors using adherent-based and suspension-adapted cell expression platforms. Alain Lamproye joined the company as chief executive officer (CEO) in January 2017, having served previously as president of the biopharmaceutical business unit of Novasep (2012–2017) and as CEO of Henogen, its subsidiary dedicated to gene therapy. He has held managerial positions in pharmaceutical operations at Merck Serono (including…

Ask the Expert: Key Considerations for Cryogenic Preservation and T-Cell Viability

Cryopreservation provides critical protection for cell therapies by minimizing genetic changes. But cooling too slowly or quickly risks diminishing cell viability upon thaw. On 11 March 2020, Peter Kilbride (senior research scientist) and Julie Meneghel (cryobiologist), both of Cytiva (formerly GE Healthcare Life Sciences), discussed the importance of controlled-rate cryopreservation. Illustrating how mammalian cells change when frozen, Kilbride and Meneghel offered concrete cryopreservation strategies and identified temperatures at which it is safe to stop controlled cooling and transfer drug product…