Seed Train Process Intensification Strategy Offers Potential for Rapid, Cost-Effective Scale-Up of Biosimilars Manufacturing

by Rajib Malla, Dhaval D. Shah, Chinmay Gajendragadkar, Vijayalakshmi Vamanan, Deepak Singh, Suraj Gupta, Deepak Vengovan, Ravi Trivedi, Henry Weichert, Melisa Carpio, and Krishna Chandran
Volume 20, Open Access (Apr 2021)

A perfusion approach at N-1, where cells stay in the exponential growth phase throughout the entire culture duration, is becoming more common as a strategy for process intensification. This is because the higher cell densities it generates allows manufacturers to skip seed stages and reduce process transfer time through multiple bioreactor sizes, thus providing more cost-effective biologics production in smaller facilities. However, this N-1 perfusion approach requires optimization. In this article, we describe the development and proof-of-concept studies with single-use rocking motion perfusion bioreactors in which we have achieved a ten-fold increase in viable cell count in N-1 seed stage, compared to the fed-batch control process, in just 6–8 days. We also mention in detail how we inoculated a 50 L bioreactor production run using this intensified seed train and show comparable growth kinetics and yield with a control process, also at 50 L scale. Using this intensification approach in the future will help our manufacturing facility, the Biopharma Division of Intas Pharmaceuticals Ltd., reach 4000 L production-scale volumes with fewer process transfer steps, and without changing the feeding strategy or production bioreactors of our biologics’ portfolio.

Malla R et al. Seed train process intensification strategy offers potential for rapid, cost-effective scale-up of biosimilars manufacturing. BioProcess J, 2021; 20.

Posted online April 23, 2021.