Manufacturing

TFF Membranes for High MAb Concentration

In a typical monoclonal antibody (MAb) purification process, immediately after cell culture and supernatant clarification (its objective being to remove whole cells, cell debris, and particulates), the protein product is typically bound to an affinity chromatography resin and then recovered by elution using a buffer solution. Once recovered, the resulting protein solution is further purified through additional chromatography and virus clearance steps before being concentrated until a final solution is ready for filling and finishing operations. PRODUCT FOCUS: MONOCLONAL ANTIBODIESPROCESS…

Biopharmaceutical Quality Assurance

The basic concepts and reasons for quality assurance (QA) in biotechnology are, of course, the same as for the manufacture of any other medicinal product or device: to assure the safety of the patient. So, what’s different about biotechnology? The variety of products is vast — from well characterized proteins in production for the past couple of decades, to cell based products, genetically modified oncolytic viruses, viral gene vectors — and many more, with new innovations almost daily. Although their…

Partnering with a CMO in China

Many biopharmaceutical companies are evaluating the option of working with contract manufacturing organizations (CMOs) in China. There are probably as many reasons for following that strategy as there are companies doing the evaluating. However, regardless of the strategic plan behind pursuit of a CMO in China, there are key issues each company must consider as part of its due diligence before selecting one. Through a fast growing economy and government supported transition from low-margin to high-margin products, China is quickly…

Critical Issues in Outsourcing to a CMO

Deciding to outsource biopharmaceutical manufacturing is a strategic decision with long-term consequences. Most companies deliberate carefully as they select a contract manufacturing organization (CMO). Because the factors involved in such deliberations vary widely among organizations — and they shift over time — my company has included an analysis of critical outsourcing issues as part of its fifth annual report and survey of biopharmaceutical manufacturing capacity and production (1). In this year’s study of 434 global biomanufacturing facilities, we found the…

Technologies and Training Move Sterility to New Levels

Take six people and sample the microbial ecosystem on their forearms, and you will find more than 240 distinct microbes (1, 2). So it becomes readily apparent why keeping a cleanroom “clean” is a difficult task. One problem is that we humans are limited in our visual capacities and can see objects down to only 50 µm (3). If we could see contaminating particles, we would likely be very quick to clean them away. In fact, cleaning and cleaning validation…

Introducing Disposable Systems into Biomanufacturing

Single-use (disposable) systems are being considered and introduced into many biopharmaceutical processes because manufacturers have identified significant benefits they offer over traditional reusable systems. These benefits are often more evident when a new process and product are being developed. Lower capital expenditures, shorter development times for new facilities, and reduced validation costs are some of the reasons single-use technology may be selected. Here, a contract manufacturer’s case study is described in which an existing stainless steel system was completely replaced…

Leveraging the Size and Scope of Global CROs

Biotech was “born” in the 1970s. Since that time innovation by biotech pioneers has brought more than 200 medicines and vaccines to fruition for difficult-to-treat indications including oncology, HIV/AIDs, diabetes, and immune disorders. Another 400 biotech products targeting 200 diseases are currently in clinical trials, and 700 compounds are in preclinical development (1). Overall, the industry had a banner year in 2007, with an 8% increase in biotech revenues and a total of more than $29.9 billion (US) in investment…

Global Vaccine Commercialization

Defining the optimal market entry strategy for a vaccine is challenging. Worldwide, vaccine markets are commoditized andvery heterogeneous. In addition, with growth and evolving technology, the business model in the vaccines sector is changing. From the traditional vaccine model, constituted mainly of pediatric vaccines used to prevent a well-known series of viral and bacterial infections in large cohorts of healthy patients, we are seeing the emergence of a more pharma-like model that has been stimulated by new technologies, innovation, and…

Optimizing Vaccine Supply Chains Through Quality Management in Manufacturing

The recent product recalls of PedvaxHib and Comvax vaccine batches are a reminder that the control of vaccine manufacturing processes is of the highest importance. This rings especially true because the target population for these two products is children under the age of five. The Hib vaccine guards against meningitis and other serious infections caused by the bacterium Haemophilus influenzae. In this particular recall, type b vaccine was tested and determined to be free of contaminating microorganisms before being released…

Modeling Flow Distribution in Large-Scale Chromatographic Columns with Computational Fluid Dynamics

Column chromatography remains a key unit operation in downstream processing of biopharmaceuticals. For most commercial processes, two to three chromatography steps are used to remove process-and product-related proteins, DNA and adventitious agents. As the biopharmaceutical industry has increased its product offerings and related demands, downstream processes have fast become a bottleneck (1, 2). Many commercial and clinical processes include a number of cycles on one or more chromatography steps to process the harvest from a single production batch. PRODUCT FOCUS:…