Suzanne Farid is Professor of Bioprocess Systems Engineering and Co-Director of the ESPSRC Center for Innovative Manufacturing in Emergent Macromolecule Therapies hosted by the Department of Biochemical Engineering at University College London. Farid and her team have developed a range of software tools to help biopharma companies make decisions on the best manufacturing processes, including whether to make the switch to continuous.
Why hasn’t biopharma fully embraced continuous bioprocessing?
Traditionally, continuous processing in the biotech sector has been viewed as more complex to operate and with a higher risk of failure. With the introduction of more robust technology options for upstream and downstream processing, we have seen a resurgence of interest. Yet obstacles to adoption still exist. When we ran a roundtable discussion at a recent conference on this topic (2), several participants mentioned issues such as the lack of reliable scale-down tools for continuous processes and the need for better online process analytical technology, control and hardware reliability than is currently available. Furthermore, companies working with stable antibodies may not have the same incentives as those working with labile products, where continuous processing can be a necessity.
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