Manufacturing

eBook: Speed to IND — Practical Wisdom for Uncertain Times

Even in “normal” times, companies need to balance time to filing an investigational new drug (IND) application against careful consideration of processes that can have far-reaching consequences on the quality of biologic products. But supply-chain interruptions still feature prominently in the news during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. From equipment to chemicals to plastic components, end users, their suppliers, and (critically) their suppliers’ suppliers all are feeling growing uncertainty about production timelines and availability of materials. In this eBook, BPI’s editor…

Designing Vaccines: The Role of Artificial Intelligence and Digital Health, Part 1

According to the founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, Klaus Schwab, the fourth industrial revolution began in the 21st century and is characterized by an unprecedented development and exponential growth of a high-technology industry transforming society at every level (1–4). In particular, healthcare systems are evolving rapidly to adapt to the new reality. According to Forbes, the main technologies currently shifting the paradigm of medical research are artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) (5), both defined…

Transfection Best Practices for AAV Gene Therapy Programs

As viral vectors continue to push gene therapy innovations closer to market, many researchers are setting their sights on optimizing transfection, the process of delivering corrective genetic material into cells. It’s not just a question of how to transfect them, but also how to do so efficiently and at high volumes. Approaches that work for one cell line might not perform well for others, and transfection protocols can have different implications for scalability and cost during production for clinical trials.…

Recombinant Proteins for Cell and Gene Therapy Research: A Conversation with Shenandoah Biotechnology

Recombinant proteins such as growth factors and cytokines are essential for cell therapy, gene therapy and regenerative medicine research, development and manufacturing. These proteins are critical in the production of desired cell types and subsequent differentiation of cells, to deliver the desired effect. Founded 15 years ago, Shenandoah Biotechnology applies a proprietary method of folding and purifying recombinant proteins from both bacterial and mammalian systems to enable cost-effective, large-scale production of Cell Therapy Grade proteins to support these groundbreaking treatments.…

Aseptic Considerations in Formulation, Fill and Finish: Choosing Between Barrier and Isolator Technologies

Biological drug substances are constituent in a wide range of medicinal products with an even broader spectrum of applications. Those include autoimmune-disease treatments (e.g., for arthritis), vaccines, and recombinant therapeutic proteins (e.g., for cancer treatment). What such products all have in common is that they are manufactured using biotechnology and other cutting-edge technologies. Biologics are not as physically robust as their small-molecule counterparts. Hence, during biomanufacturing processes, these complex molecules present a number of challenges. Some of the typical shared…

Creative Formulation: A Useful Approach to Patient-Centered Drug Development

The development of new medicines is a highly regulated process focused on demonstrating efficacy and safety of new products. Although such qualities always will remain the primary focus of drug development, the biopharmaceutical industry gradually has adopted additional design aspects. New approaches can help meet patients’ divergent needs to improve their lives in meaningful ways. Often referred to as “patient-centered” or “patient-focused” drug-product design, such considerations are expected by many experts to become an increasingly dominant part of future drug…

A Holistic Approach: Bridging the Gap Between Suppliers and Biomanufacturers

How can biopharmaceutical manufacturers expect their suppliers to deliver what the industry wants and needs if it doesn’t communicate those desires? Without industry input, biotechnology suppliers are developing technologies “blindly.” Despite their having delivered great value over the years, together the greater community can do better. Aligned industry input is a vital element in the development process. Here we describe how two BioPhorum workstreams focused on drug-product development have worked to facilitate these communications. Last summer, the container–closure integrity (CCI)…

Closed-System Transfer Devices: Collaboration Provides Tools to Guide Compatibility and Stability Testing Strategy

Ever since the first biopharmaceutical product (biologic) was approved in the 1980s, companies have developed protocols and tests to ensure that such products are safe and effective. Biologics are very different from traditional small-molecule drugs, with unique risks inherent to their manufacturing processes. Biopharmaceutical formulations often present as complex mixtures that can be sensitive to heat, light, and many other factors, all of which must be monitored and assessed. However, until recently, developers worked mostly independently, with only their own…

Integrity of Single-Use Systems: Practical Applications and Deployment

Single-use (SU) technology plays an important role in modern vaccine and biologics manufacturing. System integrity, managed by critical process controls, ensures sterility and is a prerequisite for successful leak-free processing. Nonintegral systems cause loss of product, quality, and time; increase costs through investigations; and lead to potential safety problems. The BioProcess Systems Alliance (BPSA) issued a white paper in 2017, Design, Control, and Monitoring of Single-Use Systems for Integrity Assurance (1), that describes in detail the strategies for design and…

Advanced Data-Driven Modeling for Biopharmaceutical Purification Processes

Purification is an essential process in biopharmaceutical manufacturing that separates a therapeutic protein in its active form from impurities. A typical purification process consists of several chromatography unit operations, and each unit operation comprises multiple phases. During the operation of each step, continuous (time-series data per parameter for each batch) and batch data (one data point per parameter for each batch) are generated by in-line sensors installed in chromatography skids on the production floor and with at-line/off-line in-process samples, respectively.…