Oregon, US based Bend announced the launch last week citing growing demand for engineering know-how from Pharmas seeking to optimise the production of these types of hard-to-make medications.
The move follows just weeks after Bend set out - with some early success – to find more Big Pharma partners interested in the spray-dried dispersion (SDD) technology it developed in partnership with Pfizer. Bend's exclusive deal with Pfizer expired in 2008, however the firms continue to collaborate on a number of projects.
Bend spokeswoman Phoenix Rivers told Outsourcing-pharma.com about the rationale for the new service, explaining that: “We listen closely to our clients and they have told us that they would like help in developing bioprocesses that are efficient, defined and help advance biotherapeutic products,” adding that “Obviously, biotherapeutics is one of the largest growth areas in pharmaceutical development, so this is a logical step for us.”
Rivers also said that – in addition to the SDD technology – the service will include a number of other formulation and processing tools intended to cater for a wide range of possible customer needs.
“Some firms may need help solving a problem related to bioprocess engineering, such as bioreactor modelling, scale up or plant design. In other cases, clients have asked us to optimize cell lines with a focus on media and engineering. Other clients have asked us to develop and characterize vaccine formulations using our know-how around solid state powder analytical tools.”
Rivers added that the various cell development, bioprocess optimization, modelling, plant design, formulation and manufacturing services will be scalable in order to be meet the needs of both Big Pharmas – like recently won customers such as Eli Lilly and Merck & Co – and smaller companies like Affinium with which it signed a deal earlier this month.
“We have developed a variety of modeling tools, including computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models that are focused on efficient scale-up of bioprocesses. Drawing upon our years of experience in process development, we have identified critical process attributes focused on key control volumes during scale-up.
“We have used that knowledge to develop CFD models that help us establish optimum process conditions at various scales, eliminating the need for costly experimentation or failed batches."