Upstream Processing

Scaling Up a CHO-Produced Hormone–Protein Fusion Product

    Many biotechnology companies recognize the powerful benefits of increasing product titer early in product development as a strategy to minimize manufacturing costs, scale, and the duration necessary to produce clinical supplies and achieve product commercialization. Additional benefits include minimizing or completely avoiding significant regulatory delays to market that can be caused by major process technology changes (such as cell line and product quality changes). Recently, another significant benefit has been realized too: Smaller, more productive and efficient 2,000-L…

Assay Validation for Rapid Detection of Mycoplasma Contamination

Mycoplasmas and related bacteria in the class Mollicutes are parasitic organisms found not only on the external surfaces of a wide range of eukaryotic host cells, but also intracellularly. They are characterized by small size and lack of a rigid cell wall, which gives them resistance to β-lactam antibiotics and the ability to pass through 0.2-µm filters (1,2). Contamination by Mollicutes is a common problem for cell cultures that is not easily detected because it usually does not produce turbidity…

Bridging the Gap from Reusable to Single-Use Manufacturing with Stirred, Single-Use Bioreactors

    During the past few years, use of disposable bioreactors in development and manufacturing processes has become widely accepted. Particularly, low–oxygen-demanding cell types such as human and insect cells have proven to be perfectly suitable for cultivation in single-use bag chambers. These bioreactors have significant advantages over their reusable counterparts (1). They transform a single-purpose process using stainless steel reactors into a multipurpose facility in which switching from one application to another is both easy and cost effective. Reusable…

Automated Liquid Handlers As Sources of Error

    Use of automated liquid handling equipment for rapid testing and reproducible screening of thousands of molecules, cells, and compounds has become an essential component of life-science laboratories across the globe. Along with an increase in such use, transferred volumes have shrunk, as demands increase on transfer accuracy and precision when aspirating, diluting, dispensing, mixing, and washing. Automated liquid handlers are generally used to increase the productivity and repeatability of volume transfer, but as discussed here, they are still…

Medium and Process Optimization for High Yield, High Density Suspension Cultures: From Low Throughput Spinner Flasks to High Throughput Millilitre Reactors

    The most important contributions to high-yield manufacturing processes for the production of recombinant proteins from cultivated mammalian cells have come from the identification of highly enriched and well-balanced media formulations, and fine tuning the process conditions that support high cell culture densities with high specific productivity. The industry standard yield for immunoglobulins or similar molecules derived from suspension-cultivated mammalian cells in bioreactors has risen during the past 20 years from the tens of mg/L to g/L. The more…

Disposable Bioreactors in Cell Culture-Based Upstream Processing

    During the last 10 years, cost pressures and the changing requirements for bioreactors in the modern pharmaceutical industry have resulted in the increased use of disposable bioreactors in both R&D and manufacturing. Numerous studies have demonstrated their efficiency in cell culture-based upstream processing at small- and middle-volume scales. As shown in Figure 1, disposable bioreactors with culture volumes between 10 mL and 2 m3 are most widely used for cell proliferation, screening experiments, the production of therapeutic agents…

Non-Invasive Sensors as Enablers of “Smart” Disposables

    Disposable bioprocessing has come of age. Economic and regulatory conditions are driving the widespread adoption of disposable equipment at all stages of bioprocessing. This review considers the entire bioprocess chain and assesses the status of disposables. In particular, we focus on the current availability and need for additional sensors that will enable the disposable process to be integrated — in compliance — with the latest Process Analytical Technologies. Traditional bioprocessing is highly compartmentalized into upstream and downstream operations.…

Better Positioned Than Ever

    In June 2007, Sartorius AG acquired the French company, Stedim S.A., and a global solution provider for the biopharmaceutical industry was created. Since then, the new company — Sartorius Stedim Biotech (SSB) — has entered into collaborations with a number of other key industry players, including Metroglas, Bayer Technology Services GmbH and the recently acquired Wave Biotech AG to bring technologies such as single-use bioreactors, UVC irradiation and the first disposable–integrated electrochemical pH sensor into its rapidly expanding…

Disposable pH Sensors

    This paper describes the design, development and validation procedure for a novel, single-use gamma-stable electrochemical pH probe jointly developed by Sartorius Stedim Biotech SA and Metroglas. This new, single-use pH sensor offers a range of pH measurements (from 0 to 11 with ±0.1 precision) and features a one-point calibration process in its storage solution that provides a fast and easy pre- and post-use sensor performance check. Also described is a specific encapsulation device designed to integrate the pH…

Implementing Gamma-Stable RFID Tags in Single-Use Fluid Management Systems

    This paper describes how RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technologies can be implemented into single-use systems to generate electronic records for both bag manufacturers and bag end-users. RFID technology will enable the user to both read and write all relevant product and process information directly onto the single-use bag, providing instantaneous data recall. The tag can also provide the user with immediate access to the bag’s original part number, lot number, date of manufacture, expiration date and other critical…