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Serialization – challenges and good practices in packaging operations based on experience of track and trace systems

Serialization – challenges and good practices in packaging operations based on experience of track and trace systems

This paper provides an overview of points to consider and good practices relating to the most challenging areas identified following an industry benchmark on the serialization of sellable units. The purpose of this benchmark was to identify common industry challenges with serialization and to broaden the knowledge of good practice, industry capabilities and to identify the quickest route to implementation and compliance with global serialization requirements. The paper also seeks to encourage dialogue between industry, regulatory agencies, and track and trace system providers, by adding the unique perspective of secondary packaging customer, summarized after several years of using such serialization systems

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Peer to peer practical guidance on remote inspections and audits

Peer to peer practical guidance on remote inspections and audits

Drawing on their real-world experiences, a group of experts drawn from 28 BioPhorum member companies has provided guidance on the detailed working methods that support a successful remote inspection or audit; for example, how to manage information flows between the inspectors and the site subject matter experts’ team. With the impact of Covid-19 likely to be seen for the foreseeable future, virtual inspections may be required for some time. This guidance will help all stakeholders prepare and to avoid the potential problems of remote inspections and audits.

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Forecast and Demand Planning: Communications pack, planning checklist and forecasting template

Forecast and Demand Planning: Communications pack, planning checklist and forecasting template

The checklist is a best practice checklist to define the recommended minimum required steps to generate a useful forecast. It is for companies moving towards mature demand forecasting practices, and biomanufacturers and suppliers with regular demand forecasting meetings. It should be used each time a new forecast is generated to ensure the key steps are carried out. The communications pack explains the recommended forecast and demand planning cycle of events, i.e. when you should sit down and talk, what you should talk about, what should be in the discussions, etc. This will help guide and structure the regular meetings between biomanufacturers and critical suppliers. Having a comprehensive framework for those meetings is essential, especially when discussing key materials. It includes everything from the minimum required agenda items and an action log template, to a forecast confidence ‘traffic light’ indicator and ‘hints and tips’ to get the most out of the pack.

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Covid-19: Reference for COVID-19 viral control strategy in the biological manufacturing industry – industry position on the FDA guidance

Covid-19: Reference for COVID-19 viral control strategy in the biological manufacturing industry – industry position on the FDA guidance

This paper provides an in-depth exploration of the characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus) and COVID-19 (the disease). It also discusses how likely these may impact current control strategies that maintain product quality, safety and efficacy in the biopharmaceutical industry. It covers the areas that need to be assessed by biomanufacturers regarding SARS-CoV-2 risks for their patients, employees and products. Mitigation actions for the risks and associated benefits are also proposed. Just as importantly, it also discusses the areas that do not need to be evaluated – as current control strategies for endogenous and exogenous viruses, standards of work and the GMP framework are appropriate to prevent SARS-CoV-2 impacting on product. This is the case when the characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 do not make it unique when compared to the existing controls in place.

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Deviation Management (DMS): Guide to implementing a risk based deviation management system

Deviation Management (DMS): Guide to implementing a risk based deviation management system

BioPhorum has developed a risk-based deviation management system (DMS). 13 member companies have implemented this approach, and summary data from these companies shows improved quality performance plus an average time saving of 22,200 work hours per site per year, which is equivalent to a $888k cost saving.

This guide outlines the work of the BioPhorum DMS Workstream in defining and creating a simplified and effective risk-based deviation management system with advanced RCA methodologies, and a track-and-trending process of low-risk events. It includes everything required to build a risk-based approach to DMS, including the business case for change, the new process, risk-based tools, and a detailed sharing of post-implementation benefit.

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How industry is returning to work during the covid-19 pandemic

How industry is returning to work during the covid-19 pandemic

BioPhorum’s covid-19 Workforce Protection Survey was completed by the Senior BioPhorum Connect group, consisting of leaders and sponsors from the BioPhorum communities. It assessed how industry was reacting to covid-19 to identify and share best practices that would help guide its reaction to the crisis. This article looks at the detail of return to work (RTW) and asks specific questions on how the Senior BioPhorum Connect group is addressing issues such as the RTW criteria, phased approaches and a possible ‘return to lockdown’.

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Cyber security: Information technology vs operations technology – a BioPhorum article

Cyber security: Information technology vs operations technology – a BioPhorum article

This paper characterizes this framework, and the associated mixed environments, to illustrate the drivers and success metrics for the key functions of business management of information systems, and that of plant-floor instrumentation and controls engineering. For people working in this arena, this paper will help develop an understanding of this landscape and foster a cooperative approach to implementing network resilience and cybersecurity solutions that allow more robust and secure delivery of essential drug products to the market.

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Cyber security: Digital plant resilience assessment tool

Cyber security: Digital plant resilience assessment tool

As the maturity of digital manufacturing plants increases, so does the risk of a cybersecurity or other digital incident. A successful phishing attack, for example, could adversely impact manufacturing operations and potentially take a facility offline for hours, days or even longer.  A company’s ability to minimize the risk of a digital disaster in its manufacturing plants, and quickly restore operations if one occurs, is a vital area for investment to ensure delivery of drug products to patients. To do this, biopharmaceutical manufacturers must understand the cyber resilience at their differing plants and how each site fits into the context of their overall business.

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Disposables: Extractables testing of polymeric single-use components used in biopharmaceutical manufacturing

Disposables: Extractables testing of polymeric single-use components used in biopharmaceutical manufacturing

This revised extractables protocol for polymeric single-use components in biopharmaceutical manufacturing is based on an extensive scientific review and represents the combined opinion of the biopharmaceutical manufacturers and, crucially, the supply chain. It will reduce costs and focus people on the important data points. The protocol provides guidance on the suggested methods for extractables studies, including sample preparation, extraction conditions, recording test-article sampling conditions, and reporting data from the analysis of extracts. Flexibility is built-in, allowing suppliers to alter many study parameters due to restrictions based on the use of SUS, physical form factor, chemical compatibilities, etc.

The new protocol includes significant changes to the 2014 version, including the removal of 5M sodium chloride and 1% Polysorbate 80 as extraction solvents, the elimination of the time-point zero interval, and the elimination of elemental analysis of 50% Ethanol extracts.

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Knowledge mapping for the biopharmaceutical industry: A test case in CMC business processes from late-stage development to commercial manufacturing (paper and tool)

Knowledge mapping for the biopharmaceutical industry: A test case in CMC business processes from late-stage development to commercial manufacturing (paper and tool)

The management of knowledge in biopharmaceutical organizations has been recognized as an important challenge over recent years. Defining the pain points and designing successful knowledge management (KM) solutions have proven difficult. To address this challenge, BioPhorum Technology Roadmapping applied a KM best practice methodology to capture a process-based knowledge map for a major business process; this was performed by companies who develop and commercialize new therapies. The resulting assessment of knowledge flows revealed that there are significant challenges to both explicit and tacit knowledge flow across the control strategy and method development / technology transfer processes. Some generalized solutions have been proposed. As part of this work, a detailed spreadsheet tool was developed so that organizations can repeat this work on their business processes to understand their knowledge–flow issues and develop fit-for-purpose solutions.

The knowledge mapping tool is available here. Detailed instructions are available within the tool itself. The data in the sheet reflects that used in the illustrative example documented in the companion paper. The data is intended to be removed and replaced with end users data in support of their own KM efforts.

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