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Processes 2019, 7(2), 94; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr7020094

Accelerating Biologics Manufacturing by Modeling or: Is Approval under the QbD and PAT Approaches Demanded by Authorities Acceptable without a Digital-Twin?

Institute for Separation and Process Technology, Clausthal University of Technology, Leibnizstraße 15, D-38678 Clausthal-Zellerfeld, Germany
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Received: 16 November 2018 / Revised: 16 January 2019 / Accepted: 31 January 2019 / Published: 13 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Processes Accelerating Biologics Manufacturing by Modelling)
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Abstract

Innovative biologics, including cell therapeutics, virus-like particles, exosomes, recombinant proteins, and peptides, seem likely to substitute monoclonal antibodies as the main therapeutic entities in manufacturing over the next decades. This molecular variety causes a growing need for a general change of methods as well as mindset in the process development stage, as there are no platform processes available such as those for monoclonal antibodies. Moreover, market competitiveness demands hyper-intensified processes, including accelerated decisions toward batch or continuous operation of dedicated modular plant concepts. This indicates gaps in process comprehension, when operation windows need to be run at the edges of optimization. In this editorial, the authors review and assess potential methods and begin discussing possible solutions throughout the workflow, from process development through piloting to manufacturing operation from their point of view and experience. Especially, the state-of-the-art for modeling in red biotechnology is assessed, clarifying differences and applications of statistical, rigorous physical-chemical based models as well as cost modeling. “Digital-twins” are described and efforts vs. benefits for new applications exemplified, including the regulation-demanded QbD (quality by design) and PAT (process analytical technology) approaches towards digitalization or industry 4.0 based on advanced process control strategies. Finally, an analysis of the obstacles and possible solutions for any successful and efficient industrialization of innovative methods from process development, through piloting to manufacturing, results in some recommendations. A central question therefore requires attention: Considering that QbD and PAT have been required by authorities since 2004, can any biologic manufacturing process be approved by the regulatory agencies without being modeled by a “digital-twin” as part of the filing documentation? View Full-Text
Keywords: biologics; manufacturing; modeling; continuous bioprocessing; modular plants; process intensification; sustainability biologics; manufacturing; modeling; continuous bioprocessing; modular plants; process intensification; sustainability
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Zobel-Roos, S.; Schmidt, A.; Mestmäcker, F.; Mouellef, M.; Huter, M.; Uhlenbrock, L.; Kornecki, M.; Lohmann, L.; Ditz, R.; Strube, J. Accelerating Biologics Manufacturing by Modeling or: Is Approval under the QbD and PAT Approaches Demanded by Authorities Acceptable without a Digital-Twin? Processes 2019, 7, 94.

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