Manufacturing

Raw Materials for Advanced Therapies: When the Process Is the Product, Ingredients Are Key

Scott Burger and Bill Janssen are both established, independent consultants specializing in gene and cell therapies. This past spring, we three discussed several aspects of raw material strategy for advanced therapies as well as the need for trained technicians in the industry. With a bachelor of science degree in biology from Tulane University (New Orleans, LA, 1983) and a medical doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA, 1988), Scott Burger served his residency training and fellowship at Washington University…

Four Design Factors Shaping Multimodal Cell and Gene Manufacturing

Cell and gene therapy manufacturing is about to hit a breaking point. The tension lies between increasingly diverse research pipelines and a tradition of dedicated facilities built for single-product, large-scale manufacturing. That incompatibility is widening as more cell and gene therapy products progress toward commercial production, forcing manufacturers to make a choice: either invest in major facility modifications and complex technology transfers to keep up or break from tradition and explore the potential of multimodal manufacturing. More than half of…

Toward the Point of Care: Flexibility and Decentralization Are Key to Making Autologous Therapies More Readily Available

Part of the advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs) class of therapeutics, cell and gene therapies (CGTs) can be either autologous, using the patient’s own cells, or allogeneic, using master banked donor cells. Global biotechnology company Orgenesis focuses on autologous therapies, with processes and systems developed for closed and automated processing that have been validated for regulatory-compliant production at the point of care for patient treatment. This technology could help overcome the limitations of traditionally cost-prohibitive CGT manufacturing methods that do…

The Promise of Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare

The term artificial intelligence (AI) has become pervasive in conversations about the future of healthcare. AI has the potential to transform medicine through novel models of scientific discovery and healthcare delivery, ultimately leading to improved individual and public health. Yet misunderstanding and miscommunication abound. Thus, concepts related to AI need to be defined and explained to elevate our general level of understanding and our discourse around the topic. The Promise of AI in Healthcare AI has been studied by computer…

A Complete Solution for MSC Therapy Workflows: Cell Scale-Up, Cryopreservation, and DMSO Removal

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are used frequently for cell therapy applications. As multipotent cells, they can differentiate into other lineages such as adipocytes, osteocytes, and chondrocytes. Additionally, they are known to secrete trophic factors that can play important roles in immunoregulation. Although MSCs can be isolated from several different tissue sources, those derived from bone marrow commonly are studied because they are easy to access in quantities large enough for therapeutic dosing (2 × 106 cells/kg of body weight). Still,…

Overcoming Obstacles in AAV Viral Vector Manufacturing

Rapidly growing interest in gene therapy has led to the need for more cost-effective and scalable viral-vector manufacturing platforms. Adenoassociated virus (AAV) has become a vector of choice because of its safety profile (nonpathogenic infection). In addition, AAV cannot replicate on its own and is not integrated directly into the host genome. AAV vector manufacturing using human embryonic kidney (HEK) cells in either adherent or suspension mode includes several typical processing steps: cell expansion, plasmid transfection, viral-vector production, cell lysis,…

Eradicating the Need for Cold-Chain Distribution in the Biopharmaceutical Industry

Cold chain distribution is complicated and critical for formulations that must be kept in very cold temperatures in the pharmaceutical industry, since their stability decreases quickly at room temperatures. The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported over 50% of vaccines are wasted and must be disposed of globally every year due in part to disruption of the cold chain distribution and lack the resources to support the ultracold temperature requirements. A possible solution to the existing problem is Hyalo Technologies’…

Single-Use Systems for Storing and Shipping Frozen Drug Materials

Using presterilized, single-use freeze–thaw systems instead of traditional freeze–thaw platforms that include stainless-steel tanks and bottles can help biomanufacturers manage the quality of their drug substances. Single-use assemblies reduce the risk of cross-contamination, simplify dispensing, and decrease the number of manual interventions during freezing, thawing, handling, and shipping. However, implementing a freeze–thaw process requires careful testing of the physical and thermal properties of single-use systems and related aseptic connectors as well as assessment of drug-substance quality and stability. Such evaluation…

Risk Considerations for Aging Pharmaceutical Facility Cleanrooms

Pharmaceutical facility cleanrooms are designed to reduce and control particle contamination and to minimize the ingress and retention of microorganisms. Such risks typically are easy to control in well-designed, modern facilities. But risk mitigation is more difficult in older facilities. There is no exact definition of what constitutes an aging facility (or what are sometimes euphemistically called legacy facilities). For example, a facility established 100 years ago to manufacture a simple tablet can continue to operate perfectly well with careful…

Facilities Roundup: What’s Behind the Expansions?

In the early 2000s, the trade press was abuzz about an imminent “capacity crunch” in mammalian cell culture. Dire predictions of shortages were based on biopharmaceutical successes to that point, on bursting development pipelines, and on the lengthy timelines and high costs of assembling tens of thousands of liters of stainless-steel bioreactors and supporting infrastructure. Those predictions failed to anticipate several positive developments that would render doom-and-gloom scenarios moot. Notably, yearly improvements in protein titers for MAb processes already were…