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Nepveux K.,Pfizer | Sherlock J.-P.,Astrazeneca | Futran M.,Janssen Supply Group LLC | Thien M.,Merck And Co. | Krumme M.,Novartis
Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences | Year: 2015

Continuous manufacturing (CM) is a process technology that has been used in the chemical industry for large-scale mass production of chemicals in single-purpose plants with benefit for many years. Recent interest has been raised to expand CM into the low-volume, high-value pharmaceutical business with its unique requirements regarding readiness for human use and the required quality, supply chain, and liability constraints in this business context. Using a fairly abstract set of definitions, this paper derives technical consequences of CM in different scenarios along the development-launch-supply axis in different business models and how they compare to batch processes. Impact of CM on functions in development is discussed and several operational models suitable for originators and other business models are discussed and specific aspects of CM are deduced from CM's technical characteristics. Organizational structures of current operations typically can support CM implementations with just minor refinements if the CM technology is limited to single steps or small sequences (bin-to-bin approach) and if the appropriate technical skill set is available. In such cases, a small, dedicated group focused on CM is recommended. The manufacturing strategy, as centralized versus decentralized in light of CM processes, is discussed and the potential impact of significantly shortened supply lead times on the organization that runs these processes. The ultimate CM implementation may be seen by some as a totally integrated monolithic plant, one that unifies chemistry and pharmaceutical operations into one plant. The organization supporting this approach will have to reflect this change in scope and responsibility. The other extreme, admittedly futuristic at this point, would be a highly decentralized approach with multiple smaller hubs; this would require a new and different organizational structure. This processing approach would open up new opportunities for products that, because of stability constraints or individualization to patients, do not allow centralized manufacturing approaches at all. Again, the entire enterprise needs to be restructured accordingly. The situation of CM in an outsourced operation business model is discussed. Next steps for the industry are recommended. In summary, opportunistic implementation of isolated steps in existing portfolios can be implemented with minimal organizational changes; the availability of the appropriate skills is the determining factor. The implementation of more substantial sequences requires business processes that consider the portfolio, not just single products. Exploration and implementation of complete process chains with consequences for quality decisions do require appropriate organizational support. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Byrn S.,Purdue University | Futran M.,Janssen Supply Group LLC | Thomas H.,Vertex Pharmaceuticals | Jayjock E.,Janssen Supply Group LLC | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences | Year: 2015

We describe the key issues and possibilities for continuous final dosage formation, otherwise known as downstream processing or drug product manufacturing. A distinction is made between heterogeneous processing and homogeneous processing, the latter of which is expected to add more value to continuous manufacturing. We also give the key motivations for moving to continuous manufacturing, some of the exciting new technologies, and the barriers to implementation of continuous manufacturing. Continuous processing of heterogeneous blends is the natural first step in converting existing batch processes to continuous. In heterogeneous processing, there are discrete particles that can segregate, versus in homogeneous processing, components are blended and homogenized such that they do not segregate. Heterogeneous processing can incorporate technologies that are closer to existing technologies, where homogeneous processing necessitates the development and incorporation of new technologies. Homogeneous processing has the greatest potential for reaping the full rewards of continuous manufacturing, but it takes long-term vision and a more significant change in process development than heterogeneous processing. Heterogeneous processing has the detriment that, as the technologies are adopted rather than developed, there is a strong tendency to incorporate correction steps, what we call below "The Rube Goldberg Problem." Thus, although heterogeneous processing will likely play a major role in the near-term transformation of heterogeneous to continuous processing, it is expected that homogeneous processing is the next step that will follow. Specific action items for industry leaders are: · Form precompetitive partnerships, including industry (pharmaceutical companies and equipment manufacturers), government, and universities. These precompetitive partnerships would develop case studies of continuous manufacturing and ideally perform jointtechnology development, including development of small-scale equipment and processes. · Develop ways to invest internally in continuous manufacturing. How best to do this will depend on the specifics of a given organization, in particular the current development projects. Upper managers will need to energize their process developers to incorporate continuous manufacturing in at least part of their processes to gain experience and demonstrate directly the benefits. · Training of continuous manufacturing technologies, organizational approaches, and regulatory approaches is a key area that industrial leaders should pursue together. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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