Dispatches from AAPS

Extractables & leachables the biggest barrier to SU adoption, says WuXi

By Dan Stanton contact

- Last updated on GMT

Extractables & leachables a barrier to single-use tech adoption says China's Wuxi Apptech
Extractables & leachables a barrier to single-use tech adoption says China's Wuxi Apptech

Related tags: Polymer

Extractables & leachables are the number one problem holding back the adoption and scale-up of single-use technology, according to a WuXi Apptech Director.

Contract biomanufacturer WuXi Apptech opened the first biologics facility in China that complies with European and US GMP standards in 2012​. The 16.5 acre site has a total capacity of 5,500L and, according to Director of downstream process development Jason Li, is fully equipped with disposable technology systems.

Li was speaking at the AAPS annual meeting this week in San Diego, where he discussed the how single-use operations in biomanufacturing will account for almost $3bn of the total biomanufacturing market by 2016, up from $0.65bn in 2011.

Yet while the advantages of such technology have been well documented – low upfront costs, flexibility, expediting process development, lower skill set needed, and reduction in cross-contamination risks – Li said there were still a number of factors limiting uptake (which is less than 1% of the total market), with the number one problem being extractables & leachables (E&L).

“With polymers used in disposable systems there are many chemicals involved,”​ he said, adding he had experienced a couple of clients using CHO cells to produce monoclonal antibodies choose to use different systems due to the potential leachable effect of a certain single-use bioreactor.

Antioxidants, antiozonants, plasticisers, process aids, antistatic agents, UV stabilisers, curing agents, filters, and modifiers can all react with biomaterials reducing yields and titres and, most seriously, potentially contaminating drugs. One such example is bis(2,4,-ditert-butylphenyl) phosphate (btDtBPP) – a leachable compound discovered to be detrimental to cell growth by Amgen last year.

The second major problem with disposable technology, Li said, is scalability with 2,000L being pretty much the top end in bioreactor bag size for now. However, this issue will be overcome by materials being developed made up of nano-composite fibres which will strengthen the polymer to cope with greater volumes.

Other issues with single-use include standardisation of systems, the dependability to vendors, and the supply chain and waste management, Li added, but “if we can overcome extractables & leachables we will eventually be able to scale up to many thousands of litres.”

Related news

Show more

Related products

show more

Microaerobic Fermentation of Lactobacillus acidophilus

Microaerobic Fermentation of Lactobacillus acidophilus

Eppendorf for Bioprocess – Solutions that grow with you | 01-Oct-2019 | Application Note

We successfully performed microaerobic fermenta¬tion of a probiotic strain, Lactobacillus acidophilus, at a very low oxygen level, representing the natural...

Protect your bulk filtration and dispense step

Protect your bulk filtration and dispense step

Parker Bioscience Filtration | 22-Jul-2019 | Data Sheet

Does your process need greater protection when the value of your product is at its highest?

At the bulk filtration and container fill stage,...

rAAV Production in BioBLU® Single-Use Vessels

rAAV Production in BioBLU® Single-Use Vessels

Eppendorf for Bioprocess – Solutions that grow with you | 25-Jun-2019 | Application Note

Rising interest in gene therapy-based applications leads to increasing demands in scalable production systems for viral vectors. Find out how Cevec Pharmaceuticals...

Related suppliers

Follow us

Products

View more

Webinars