Drug Substance


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How to understand and mitigate the problem of trace element variation

A reliable supply of life-saving drugs requires understanding and mitigating any variability to support consistent supplies. However, the crucial timelines for making a drug product available to patients can be heavily impacted when variability is introduced through raw materials such as cell culture media (CCM) and reagents. Investigating a failure in production is costly and time-consuming and can delay product supply to the market – so a...

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Trace element variation for chemically defined cell culture media: biopharmaceutical industry requirements and cross-company collaboration to mitigate risks

A proactive risk-based approach to understanding key factors that can introduce product variability is necessary to avoid delays. One such factor identified is elemental impurity variability introduced by cell culture media. Though the impact of the variability will differ, it is important
that both manufacturers and supply partners understand the sources of elemental impurities and perform risk assessments to identify mitigation strategies. Such assessments will allow an understanding of the level of risk, and what steps may be taken to dissipate it. This paper is an effort to drive regulatory bodies, drug manufacturers, supply partners and N-1 suppliers toward a common understanding of the problem and possible solutions that can be taken towards risk mitigation. Though there may not be a single or ideal solution for this issue, a common rational approach can be taken by all parties to understand the impact on their processes and products, to drive identification of mitigation strategies.

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The four steps for registering innovative and complex raw materials

The Covid-19 pandemic has put extra strain on an already stretched biopharmaceutical supply chain. As industry has grown exponentially over the last couple of years, there has been an increased demand for materials and many existing products share these with the new Covid-19 vaccines, testing kits and therapies. As a result, these materials have been diverted to this high-priority use.  The pandemic has therefore demonstrated that reliance on...

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An industry reflection on the application of the Russian Pharmacopeia to the registration of biologics

In this paper, a BioPhorum member team of experts in biologics and vaccines have summarized the current challenges linked to the registration of global products in Russian Federation. This paper describes some of the challenges faced by the industry in relation to current pharmacopoeial requirements for biologics and vaccines and presents a framework of options and activities that would lead to greater alignment with the ICH and the expectations of other regulatory agencies.

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Raw Materials: Supplier change notifications: change areas and requirements

This guidance document identifies the relevant change areas, and for each area, exemplifies the type of changes which the biopharmaceutical industry needs to be informed about. It also lists the required information, in terms of supporting data and documentation, to support notification of changes. This guidance is relevant to all raw materials used to produce biopharmaceutical products, including but not limited to cell culture media, fermentation broth components, column resin, buffers, solvents, and excipients. By highlighting the changes biopharmaceutical industry end-users need to know about and specifying the information required, the intention of this industry-aligned guidance is to reduce the quantity of rework required and the time taken to process change requests. In turn, this will reduce variability in demand patterns as end-users refrain from building extensive inventories to mitigate against the perceived risks which arise from proposed changes. While complete alignment and standardization on the information which should be provided for changes is not possible, a more robust alignment on the typical information required, as set on in this guidance, will significantly improve the current state.

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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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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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Microbial control: Disinfectant Efficacy: Understanding the Expectations and How to Design Effective Studies That Include Leveraging Multi-Site Data to Drive an Efficient Program

This paper provides general guidance on how to perform disinfectant efficacy validation and implementation. It includes how to ensure the concepts of disinfectant efficacy are understood, how to interpret facility data and use it to demonstrate control awareness for your facilities, and how to leverage the data to reduce redundancies in validation or verification. It also details an efficient way to qualify disinfectants without impacting the quality of the study. The recommended program could be more robust than any individual approach developed in any one site.
As regulators now require thorough validation studies, the paper is not about why you need to do disinfectant efficacy, but how you do it so you can meet that regulatory challenge for study data and will help build a business case for change.

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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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Microbial control: Risk assessment of traditional culture-based microbiological tests requiring contemporaneous verification

Unlike most analytical chemistry tests relying on validated automatic instrument systems from which the test is automatically performed, data are electronically recorded and archived; traditional microbiological tests are performed manually, and the results are generally obtained by visual examination and transcribed by hand. Ensuring data integrity in microbiological test data is fundamental and significant to drug product quality and patient safety. The soundness of traditional culture-based microbiological test data is largely determined by multiple factors including effective sampling, valid testing and appropriate result reading and interpretation. In this paper, the fundamentals ensuring microbiological test data integrity are discussed and qualitative risk assessment is performed for the traditional culture-based quality control (QC) microbiological tests requiring contemporaneous verification by the second person.

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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. 

Regulatory-CMC

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.

Sustainability

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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