closed systems

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Using a closure analysis method to reduce CGT contamination risks

Many cell therapy manufacturing processes use open unit manipulations. As a result, they are at risk of potential contamination that can result in manufacturing batch failure. The processes therefore rely on end-to-end aseptic processing to ensure the final drug product is safe and free of potentially harmful contamination. Addressing these risks has led BioPhorum to publish Cell and gene therapy closed systems – closure analysis of a mock...

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Closure analysis of a mock autologous cell therapy process

In its current state, cell therapy manufacturing comprises several open and manual operations which increase the risk of contamination. Members of BioPhorum’s Cell & Gene Therapy Commercialization workstream have generated a ‘mock’ process detailing the manufacture of a generic autologous CAR-T product operated through a series of process steps combining some open and some closed system elements. The mock process has undergone an end-to-end closure analysis to identify those operations that pose the highest contamination risks, and to provide suggested mitigation solutions to minimize such risks. Suggestions include options that are currently available, as well as potential future ‘desired state’ options. This paper details the full process and summarizes potential risks and possible mitigations. The primary aim of this paper is to demonstrate systematic application of a closure analysis method on an ex vivo gene therapy (also known as gene-modified cell therapy) process so that organizations can apply similar analyses to their own processes. The secondary aim is to propose process closure solutions that companies could implement in their own operations.

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Formulation team sweeps away barriers to sharing

Biopharmaceutical formulations often present as complex mixtures that can be sensitive to heat, light, and many other factors, all of which must be monitored and assessed. However, until recently, developers worked mostly independently, with only their own resources and expertize to develop those assessments and set acceptable parameters. Within BioPhorum, competing companies can work together and benefit from sharing information that...

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The Spontaneous Infection: Did you leave the back door to your cultivation suite open?

In Shared clean-in-place systems: To share or not to share? and How much harm can a single droplet do? Considerations for a viral inactivation step, BioPhorum’s Drug Substance Closed Systems in CNC workstream addressed viral segregation of manufacturing steps relating to the purification process. In this follow-up paper, published by BioProcess International, the workstream looks more closely at viral contamination risks related to perhaps the...

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How to appropriately classify your cleanroom at early-stage design

BioPhorum Drug Substance Closed Systems in Controlled Non-Classified Workstream has recently published its room classification model article in the July/August 2021 edition of the PDA (Parenteral Drug Association) journal.  The paper outlines an assessment process to assist biopharmaceutical companies in assigning an appropriate grade of cleanroom during the early stage of design (e.g., concept design phase) in drug substance manufacturing...

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Shared clean-in-place systems: to share or not to share

This paper discusses design challenges such as how biomanufacturers often use extreme measures to segregate a post-nanofiltration operation from a cell-culture operation – but use a common glass washer or clean-in-place (CIP) skid for cleaning and sanitizing components from the two operations. The article looks at this apparent contradiction by using a mathematical model to evaluate the potential carryover/crossover risk.It aims to simplify production facilities so that a manufacturer doesn’t have multiple systems performing the same task. This means lower costs and complexity and facilities that are quicker to build and operate.

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Shared clean-in-place systems: to share or not to share?

The risk of viral contamination is acknowledged when developing biopharmaceutical products derived from mammalian-cell culture. And viral clearance and appropriate viral segregation are important factors in the manufacturing process and facility design. Good manufacturing practice guidelines from the US FDA and the EMA emphasize that appropriate segregation of process operations is a regulatory expectation. However, the word ‘appropriate’ is...

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Modular and mobile: Improving the biomanufacturing facility lifecycle using a standardized, modular design and construction approach

Traditionally, biopharmaceutical facilities can take up to three to five years from design through qualification before they are ready for full operation. Such facilities are often product dedicated, requiring significant and costly modification to accommodate additional products once the original product lifecycle has ended. This inherent inflexibility has become a major concern for the industry, especially given the increasing pressure to reduce costs and quicken the speed to market. To address these concerns this paper proposes a standardized design approach around an example facility solution for 2,000L-scale mAb application. The example facility focuses on demonstrating how a modular design approach may be realized using various construction methods – including traditional stick-built, prefabricated and skid assemblies, as well as modular cleanrooms or complete modular building units – without requiring major reconfiguration. At the core of this investigation is the intent to align the biopharmaceutical industry around a common understanding and approach to the design and construction of manufacturing facilities that makes the capital project process more predictable by, reducing schedule durations, improving project cost certainty, increasing facility design repeatability and ensuring greater regulatory compliance.

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Closed systems: Data driven equipment and facility design case study

Moving low bioburden drug substance manufacture from inflexible operations in a grade C environment to a modern, flexible multi-product facility in a CNC environment will result in significant reduction in costs for the industry. Such designs provide superior benefits like energy conservation, reduced facility capital and operating cost, shorter facility construction and qualification times, enhanced facility throughput and operational flexibility, reduced cost of goods and speed to market; all while maintaining the highest product quality standards. Capital costs may reduce by 45 per cent and operational costs by between 50 per cent (energy) to 100 per cent (Environmental Monitoring). This document reports on the learnings from bioburden reduction studies on hybrid (stainless steel and disposable) functionally closed bioprocessing systems developed over three years in collaboration with the Biomanufacturing Training and Education Center (BTEC) at NC State University that support these developments. The study concluded that measures as simple as flushing with WFI may be successfully employed to effectively mitigate the risk of assembling and operating a modern hybrid closed bioprocessing system in a controlled, non-classified environment, and are more effective at preventing bioburden contamination than making an open connection in a classified cleanroom without a subsequent cleaning step.

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Cell & Gene Therapy

Maximizing the impact of the many advanced therapies under development requires that the industry comes together to improve understanding of how to develop, control and manufacture these life changing therapies.

We connect strategic thinkers in drug development and contract manufacturing organizations with the aim of ensuring harmonization and alignment around issues such as potency assays, phase-appropriate guidance for critical quality attributes, operator safety, regulatory guidelines, and C&GT-specific validation issues, as well as working toward resolving the current challenges to commercializing C&GT products. Discover more and learn about the outputs here.

Development Group

The ever-increasing need to reduce product development lead times and the opportunities to exploit innovative technologies in development are two key industry themes that remain at the forefront of our work. The Phorum successfully connects process development organizations and provides a space where subject matter experts can work on issues such as quality by design and process characterization, cell line technologies, and molecule selection. Read some of the outputs and discover how you could benefit by getting involved.

Drug Substance

Accelerating improvement, exploiting opportunities offered by innovation, and identifying best practice approaches across all aspects of the manufacturing process – these are the essential objectives

Data and digital capabilities are at the core of many of these industry challenges. Work in BioPhorum Drug Substance is informed by BioPhorum Technology Strategy, which has summarized our industry’s market drivers and trends. Capacity, flexibility, sustainability and pace all feature as requirements to succeed in a rapidly changing environment.

Find out more about what our members are currently discussing and learn about some of the successful implementations of our output.

Fill Finish

Quality and demonstrating compliance are two priorities of BioPhorum Fill Finish. Representatives of the world’s top sterile filling operations come together to develop solutions to some of the most intractable technical and regulatory challenges.To address these challenges in drug product aseptic filling (‘fill’) and secondary packaging (‘finish’) operations, our community of industry experts is working relentlessly to continually improve the pharmaceutical quality system (PQS). Together they continue to strive towards developing and implementing safe, predictable, lean, and agile processes in drug product operations. Find out more about the Phorum output here. 

Information Technology

IT and digital advances are crucial in responding to the pharmaceutical industry’s challenges around speed, cost, quality, flexibility, and sustainability. Unlocking and realizing the value in the industry’s IT opportunities is the core mission of the IT Phorum. 

The digital manufacturing facility of the future needs to consider technology advances alongside organizational perspectives while maintaining foundational security requirements. All elements must be considered in the long term to deliver systemic change toward the digital factory vision. Our members collaborate in a format that stimulates and supports industry innovation and implementation. 


BioPhorum Regulatory CMC is affording professionals the opportunity to shape their own collaboration program focused on challenges and opportunities across strategy, science, operations, submissions and compliance. Following a discovery program of work with Heads of Regulatory CMC, in which we identified some key topics of collaboration, we are giving you the opportunity to participate and help us to shape the final collaboration program. This will focus on, Filing and Review, Interactions with Health Authorities, and Harmonization. Our mission is not just to discuss, but to deliver applicable outputs and publications that will have an impact – learn more about how you can get involved.

Supply Chain to Patient

The pharmaceutical outbound supply chain was built on a blockbuster model and doesn’t fit the needs of the changing pipeline and new modalities currently being developed. The geopolitical challenges of recent years have shown that the outbound supply chain needs to evolve to become more agile, and resilient, and address a more expectant end-user bying on patient-centricity. Industry collaboration can accelerate improvements and transform performance in a way not possible when working independently. This Phorum is founded on the belief that learning from each other and challenging current thinking to re-imagine the supply chain can reduce costs and increase efficiency.

Supply Partner

BioPhorum SP members want the inbound supply chain for the biomanufacturing industry to be recognized as one of the best-understood and managed global supply chains. They intend to be not only a trusted advisory group but also the engine that drives change for the industry. Working together, we aim to achieve supply chain transformation that provides:

  • an enhanced robustness and resilience
  • accelerated capability and capacity to effect technology adoption
  • reduced cost of quality, and
  • industry-wide alignment on operational implementation

There’s an extensive list of Phorum successes and tangible benefits that have been delivered to define industry best practise.


The BioPhorum Sustainability program is jointly designed, governed, and delivered by a membership drawn from licence holders, contract manufacturers, major suppliers and niche suppliers. This dynamic partnership means that we can quickly focus on the areas that have the greatest industry impact, and we can leverage learning from each other and other sectors – the chemical industry and the built environment for example.

BioPhorum’s unique ability to build a strong coalition for change for an entire industry is now being applied to the greatest challenge of our generation. Driven by evident industry needs, Phorum members are working to develop agreed industry benchmarks, establish the ROI of sustainability investments and to increase the efficacy of implementation of members’ sustainability strategies.

Technology Strategy

With a mission to define strategies to accelerate technology transformation and support the adoption of innovative technologies, BioPhorum Technology Strategy evolved from BioPhorum Technology Roadmapping, strives to realize the technology roadmap vision 2.0.

This is being achieved through a multi-stakeholder team of member companies with collective capability and influence who are committed to driving forth industry goals associated with: Speed to market, Quality, Value, Agility and On-Demand Supply and Sustainability.

Building on industry feedback to standardize plasmid release specifications

Plasmids release specifications are critical to the manufacture of many cell and gene therapy (CGT) products, but current regulatory... read more

How to predict, optimize and analyze high-concentration biologic therapeutic formulations

Developing high-dose biologic drugs for subcutaneous injection often requires high-concentration formulations. It also needs to optimize... read more

A media fingerprinting toolbox that comes with a host of benefits

Cell culture media raw materials can contain many chemical substances, each with its own properties. While simple substances can be... read more

Why 100% visual inspection does not mean 100% defect detection

There is a common misunderstanding that 100% visual inspection (VI) of biopharmaceutical products should mean 100% detection of defects.... read more

How to bridge the data integration gap between sponsors and contract organizations

Bringing BioPhorum’s unique perspective to continuous manufacturing in biologics

Continuous manufacturing (CM) has been a goal for the pharmaceutical industry for several years. While small molecule drug substances and... read more

Supply Chain to Patient has launched!

Have your outbound supply chain costs increased? Do you want to leverage data and digital technologies more effectively to reduce... read more

Electronic data exchange – the foundation for an efficient, resilient inbound supply chain

The COVID-19 pandemic, geopolitical unrest, and military action across the world have fundamentally disrupted the assumption and practice... read more

How are you improving your environmental sustainability performance?

Climate change and global warming resulting from greenhouse gas emissions are widely recognized as the biggest threats to global health.... read more

Adding value for analytical instrument partners

Analytical instrument vendors have been integral to developing and publishing our technology roadmaps and developing product... read more

Introducing MediPhorum

The medical technology (MedTech) industry is a critical and complex sector. As highlighted during the Covid-19 pandemic, the MedTech industry provides a wide array of products and technologies that are vital to the safe and effective provision of care to many. Also, as seen over recent years, there is often the requirement for flexibility in supply, rapid development, and the introduction of new products to keep pace with global public health demands.

Advanced Wound Care and Wound Management

Advanced wound care (AWC) is the medical treatment for wounds that have not healed properly using conventional wound care products such as gauze, bandages, plasters, and wadding.

AWC involves treating chronic or complex wounds using products that are not as easily obtained over the counter. AWC can be divided into three main categories: wound healing, infection prevention, and restoration.

Drug Delivery

Drug delivery products are therapeutic and diagnostic products combining drugs, devices, and/or biological products, which enable safer and more efficient treatment due to careful and precise drug targeting, local administration, and tailored treatment.

Introducing the new MediPhorum

MediPhorum by BioPhorum has been launched to bring together senior business leaders and subject matter experts across multiple MedTech... read more

Introducing the new MediPhorum

MediPhorum by BioPhorum has been launched to bring together senior business leaders and subject matter experts across multiple MedTech... read more

Introducing the new MediPhorum

MediPhorum by BioPhorum has been launched to bring together senior business leaders and subject matter experts across multiple MedTech... read more
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