Though the interchangeability draft guidance seemed to be well-received by biosimilar makers, I’m hesitant to interpret the surprising post-guidance quietness to mean companies have no concerns about the bar it sets for attaining interchangeability.
On November 23, 2016, FDA published Submission of Quality Metrics Data, a draft guidance that addresses industry comments on an earlier draft guidance titled Request for Quality Metrics (2015). This article discusses the most significant differences between the two documents — and what pharmaceutical manufacturers and CMOs should take away from these changes.
Over the past 10 years, both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) have issued new and revised regulations and guidances in an attempt to define, clarify, and modernize their requirements. Ideally, these documents would have aided industry in developing new products that take advantage of new technologies, given budget and personnel limitations in both the regulatory agencies and industry. And in fact, many of these documents have proposed or emphasized radical changes in strategy and operations, but unfortunately such changes are often met with skepticism and concern by industry.
A few months ago, Eagle Pharmaceuticals agreed to acquire Arsia Therapeutics.This move will help Eagle partner with biosimilar companies to turn biosimilar candidates into biobetters. As Eagle CEO Scott Tarriff describes, the company’s business model of reformulating and improving existing small molecules is well-suited to the biologics space — especially considering his expectations of how the biosimilar space will play out.
Heard the latest? Elvis is alive and kicking and planning a comeback. Only kidding … but who knows? After the events of 2016, anything is possible.
The seamless delivery of high quality, effective, and safe medicines to patients is each drug company’s ultimate duty. However, providing medication to patients is by no means effortless, as evidenced by the drug product shortage listings on health authority websites. The availability of medicines is challenged by a variety of factors, one of which is global supply chain segmentation due to global regulatory hurdles imposed on product related post-approval changes (PACs).
In November 2016, the FDA issued new guidance for industry titled Contract Manufacturing Arrangements for Drugs: Quality Agreements. This guidance is timely, given the rise of the virtual biotech company in the development landscape. Most development programs now include the support of at least one contract service provider (CSP) for services that vary from early development contract research to commercial manufacturing and analytical support.
Despite the many positive steps we’ve taken to establish the biosimilar industry today, it seems as though the success of the biosimilar market in the U.S. is still looking hazy. Every conference I’ve gone to has focused on the challenges facing the industry and concerns over the different regulations being established. But CBI’s 12th Biosimilars Summit felt particularly realistic in how it approached those issues.
One of the most dreaded problems in large scale biomanufacturing is contamination events. These events negatively impact an organization in many ways: lost batches and production time, cost of investigations, cost of decontamination, compliance issues (if there is concern that the process is no longer in control), decreased product quality and patient safety, and lost revenues, depending on the root cause. I was personally involved in defending a recurring contamination investigation before FDA, where any delay in the approval of this blockbuster would have had a negative impact of tens of millions of dollars.
Over the past year, the biosimilar industry has developed two mantras: “education, education, education,” and “strategy, strategy, strategy.” But after my conversation with HoUng Kim, the head of the strategy and operations division for Celltrion Healthcare, I’d like to add another mantra to this list: “data, data, data.”
To help drive sales, producers of biosimilar medicines seek to gain as much pricing advantage as possible over their products’ reference biological medicines while maintaining as much profit margin as they can. That’s why they are always looking to minimize production costs, especially in raw materials and labor, their largest cost components. While the costs of the former depend on market prices and a buyer’s negotiating skills, the latter can be best reduced through automation and continuous processing.
To continue the evolution of single-use technology (SUT) in biopharma, one area that must be secured is SUT supply chain reliability. Without this, a larger scale adoption of SUT may continue to be delayed as biopharmaceutical manufacturers must have access to a reliable supply chain that allows us to successfully deliver product to our customers.
This application note describes how perfusion cell culturing can be used to reduce processing time, simplify operations, and maximize equipment utilization in seed culture expansion processes. For creation of high-density cell banks, Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells were expanded using a bioreactor system operated in perfusion mode.
The PDA Journal of Pharmaceutical Science and Technology, have taught us that using materials not intended for use with pharmaceuticals was not the best choice. The industry is now evolving toward developing single-use films better suited to fit the needs of biomanufacturing, specifically, end users that have communicated a need for improved film performance with reliable supply, which requires transparency along the entire supply chain.
Despite years of discussion and experience, E&L testing approaches for single-use equipment have not yet fully matured into a consensus industry practice. Copious amounts of data have been generated by the industry, but most of it is held under confidentiality. Trade organizations, such as the Bio-Process Systems Alliance (BPSA), of which GE is a member, and suppliers have derived their own approaches to testing. For end users who are adopting single-use (SU) equipment as a manufacturing strategy, this situation becomes unwieldy. The need for a standard approach both to the generation and to the reporting structure of extractables data becomes obvious.
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