Upstream Processing

Validation of the New Single-Use Freeze-Pak™STS Storage and Transport Solution Containers

Production of biotherapeutics whether for clinical development or large scale manufacturing campaigns intended to be converted to final drug product often involves frozen storage. Frozen storage provides manufacturing process flexibility while enabling long-term product stability. Products are frozen and stored using a variety of technologies including stainless steel vessels, bottles, carboys and single-use bags. Use of bags has become popular due to their low investment cost and process flexibility attributes. Single-use bags intended for freezing and storage are often made with films using EVA and/or LDPE with product routinely blast frozen and stored to -30°C in a cold storage warehouse. During freezing and transport, the bags will typically experience temperatures well below -30°C ranging from -50 to -80°C. Under these conditions, the bags have to endure a wide variety of stresses (film brittleness, volume expansion, etc.) impacting integrity. With applications (like working cell banks for example) requiring lower temperatures for maintenance of long-term product stability, frozen storage films and containers designed for these conditions are needed. The new single-use Freeze-Pak™STS (FP-STS) frozen storage and transport solution containers from Charter Medical, Ltd. are manufactured using a unique polyolefin monolayer film designed for freezing applications The FP-STS bags (including tubing and connectors) have been validated for storage to -80°C, while the Freeze-Pak™ film remains flexible to temperatures as low as -196°C. The new Freeze-Pak™ STS bags deliver the flexibility and durability required for frozen storage and transport.

E. coli Cultivation in a 12L and 120L CELL-tainer™ Single-Use Bioreactor

Single-use bioreactors are usually applied in the biopharmaceutical industry for mammalian cell culture processes. For microbial processes, concepts like the CELL-tainer® technology allow comparable gas-liquid mass transfer rates like in stirred tank reactors. In the CELL-tainer, the rocking motion of the bag is generated with a combination of a vertical and horizontal movement. Due to a 2-D rocking motion, the turbulence in the liquid is intensified. Thus, volumetric oxygen transfer rates (kLa) of over 400 h-1 could be achieved. Recently, the successful scale-up of an Escherichia coli nutrient-limited fed-batch cultivation from the 15 L to the 150 L scale in the CELL-tainer single-use bioreactor has been conducted. A final biomass concentration of 45 gL-1 within 24 hrs was obtained in cultivations proving the general suitability of this reactor concept for the application of bacterial processes. The combination of intelligent software sensor control strategies and currently improving (single-use) sensors will lead to a reduction of current drawbacks and improve control of bacterial fed-batch processes. The availability of single-use bioreactors for microbial cultivations widens their potential, not only in biopharmaceutical processing, but also as a pre-culture bioreactor for large scale processes and as a suitable tool in bioprocess development.

Selecting a Transfection Reagent for Large Scale Protein Production in Suspension 293 Cell Types

Decrease time to produce usable protein by maximizing target protein yields through transient transfection. The TransIT-PRO® Transfection Kit uses animal origin free components designed for high and reproducible nucleic acid delivery into suspension CHO and 293 derived cells. Since it is compatible with varied media formulations, the same media can be used for both transient and stable expression. The TransIT-PRO outperforms linear PEI in protein yield, while providing a cost-effective alternative to FreeStyle™ MAX and 293Fectin™ Transfection Reagents.

Viral Vector Production in the Integrity® iCELLis® Disposable Fixed-bed Bioreactor from Bench-scale to Industrial Scale

Recombinant viruses (e.g. lentivirus and adeno-associated-virus) can be used as human gene therapy vectors. They are mainly produced in adherent cell cultures (e.g. HEK293T, A549, VERO) in Roller Bottles or multiple-tray-stacks using either transient transfection or infection strategies. Therefore, the Integrity® iCELLis® (ATMI LifeSciences) line of bioreactors offers a new production alternative with stronger process controls and ease of scale-up.   The iCELLis bioreactor is designed for adherent cell culture applications. Cells grow on microfibers carriers packed in a fixed-bed…

Is the Gold Standard Tarnished? Weaknesses in the Standard Method Compromise Your RMM Validation

Introduction of a new Rapid Microbial Method (RMM) requires a full validation. The purpose of the validation is to prove that equivalent or better results are obtained using the new method when compared to the compendia. One assumes that the result obtained with the compendial method is absolute and is the “Gold Standard” by which to compare the new test. In reality, the compendial method exhibits a number of weaknesses that compromise the integrity of the validation. The standard requires…

Standards for Ancillary Materials Used in Cell- and Tissue-Based Therapies

Cell- and tissue-based therapies are being used increasingly to treat many diseases for which currently no other adequate treatment options are available. These products contain human or animal cells that can replace, regenerate, or augment a recipient’s diseased, dysfunctional, or injured cells, tissues, or organs. Cells or tissues might be unmanipulated, or their biological characteristics can be altered ex vivo before administration of the final product to patients. Examples of cell therapies range from traditional blood transfusions to recent approaches…

Protein A

The number of blockbuster monoclonal antibody (MAb) drugs continues to grow. In 2008, MAbs generated revenues in excess of US$15 billion (1), making them the highest-earning category of all biotherapeutics. The world MAb market will reach $62.3 billion in 2015, with next-generation therapeutic antibody revenues reaching $2.3 billion in 2015 according to Visiongain reports published in September and November 2011 (2, 3). Biosimilar antibodies will also begin to enter established markets as regulatory authorities clear approval pathways for them. Most…

Enhanced 2-D Electrophoresis and Western Blotting Workflow for Reliable Evaluations of Anti-HCP Antibodies

Biologic drugs are subject to unique regulatory and technical requirements because of their origin and expression in genetically engineered host cells, as well as their underlying physicochemical properties and elaborate purification processes. One such requirement is the accurate monitoring and effective removal of process-derived impurities such as host-cell proteins (HCPs) and DNA/RNA, viruses, cell culture media, chromatographic leachates, and so on (1). Of those impurities, HCPs are perhaps the most challenging to accurately monitor. Each expression system’s proteome consists of…

Upstream Chemistry Analysis in Cell-Based Process Development

Cell line selection is important to any pharmaceutical company’s development pathway for biological compounds (1). In cell-line selection laboratories, many different, slightly variable cell lines are tested in parallel for desired characteristics. Candidate cell lines are chosen for further development on the basis of their performance in basic tests of critical quality attributes (CQAs). Historically, such cell lines were selected in large-volume containers because it was necessary to have sufficient volume in culture to allow repeated sampling without damaging the…

Automation of Microbioreactors

Current methodologies in genetics and microbiology enable researchers to influence metabolic pathways of microbial cells in many directions. Beside the academic interest in investigating fundamental functions in metabolic pathways, commercial production of valuable compounds by microbial hosts is state of the art. For example, such products include enzymes (lipases, proteases, phytases), therapeutic agents (insulin, antibodies), bulk chemicals (lysine, glutamate, citric acid), or the microbial cells themselves (used in brewing or milk processing), with therapeutic agents probably the fastest growing market.…