November 1-5, 2015
The existing biopharmaceutical manufacturing paradigm is poorly suited to produce biologic drugs on demand at a point-of-care. Generally, commercial-scale (~2,000 - 10,000 L) manufacturing using fed-batch cultivation and fixed stainless-steel infrastructure is concentrated in developed nations and results in process cycle times on the order of weeks to months.1,2 Coupled with the complex logistical challenges associated with continuous “plant-to-patient” cold-chains, the geographically biased nature of therapeutic protein production today can limit access to biologic drugs in developing areas of the world.3 There is an opportunity to create technologies capable of rapidly generating biopharmaceuticals in situ in emergency situations, in remote healthcare settings, and in the battlefield. A platform that incorporates a modular suite of bioreactor, purification, and in-line analytics technologies has the potential to bridge this gap if developed in parallel with appropriately engineered stains of a flexible expression host. This poster will describe a multifaceted approach towards the development of a fully automated bench-scale perfusion process for the cultivation of Pichia pastoris and expression of therapeutically relevant heterologous proteins. We demonstrate the application of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations to the optimization of the cultivation environment within our bench-top bioreactors. We further show that Pichia pastoris is amenable to secreting a variety of recombinant proteins spanning a range of preexisting drug classes (e.g. hormones, cytokines, monoclonal antibodies, vaccine antigens). Among these therapeutic proteins are molecules that require proper co-/post-translational processing for bioactivity. We envision that the development of P. pastoris strains with the capability to perform these critical processing steps in vivo will mitigate the need to chemically modify proteins post-expression and reduce the number of unit operations required in a typical upstream process.
1) Langer, E. S. & Rader, R. A. Introduction to Continuous Manufacturing: Technology Landscapes and Trends. Continuous Bioprocessing: Current Practice & Future Potential. Refine Technology. 2013. 2) Bonham-Carter, J. & Shevitz, J. A Brief History of Perfusion Biomanufacturing. Continuous Bioprocessing: Current Practice & Future Potential. Refine Technology. 2013. 3) Skwarecki, B. Breaking the cold chain: Why ditching refrigerators is a big deal for Africa. Public Health Perspectives. PLOS. 2014