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July 20, 2018

Continuous bioprocessing: smart or scary?

By Gene and Eva

Implementing new ways of processing can be scary in a highly regulated industry like biomanufacturing. But as Gene and Eva know, adoption of continuous processing can sometimes bring benefits too good to ignore.

Trials of a medicine maker cartoon continuous processing

Great that Gene and Eva didn’t give up on trying to get the benefits of continuous biomanufacturing across. Because there are many. Take greater flexibility for example, or smaller facilities with less utilities, less staff, and less cost.

Continuous processing decreases the chances for human error as the technology eliminates breaks between steps. In the event of a process failure, only a small amount of defective material is isolated, meaning less waste and less risk of a shortage. And regulators think it has great benefits too. According to the US FDA, continuous can be both more reliable and safer than traditional batch processing.

The biomanufacturing industry is risk averse for a reason. Nothing must jeopardize the safety of a drug. In that context, changing to continuous can feel too risky to implement. But with the powerful advantages on offer, it is worth exploring the possibilities perfusion culturing and periodic counter current chromatography (PCC) and other continuous techniques bring.