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Takeda collaboration to optimise biopharmaceutical manufacturing announced

Published on 22/06/21 at 09:10am

A 36-month joint project between Takeda’s manufacturing site in Vienna, the Research Center Pharmaceutical Engineering (RCPE), InSilicoTrials, and the University of Graz has been initiated to establish the mechanistic basis of the relationship between process parameters and the effect of the resulting stresses on the characteristics of protein-based drugs.

The collaboration aims to improve the understanding of the process-induced mechanisms for protein-based biopharmaceuticals, and will design and assemble a lab scale version of one of Takeda’s filling lines.

The line will be used to simulate the Takeda filling process on a smaller scale, comparing the effect of various settings of process parameters (filling speed, vial shape, protein concentration etc.). In addition, computational fluid dynamics simulations will be performed to estimate the shear forces, as well as size and dynamics of interfaces the concentrated protein solution is exposed to during the filling process.

The generated experimental and simulation data will then be used to train and test algorithms based on state-of-the-art machine learning models, to predict the potential impact of these parameters on the properties of the protein molecule. The final goal is a set of in-silico tools that can be used to guide the design and parameterization of the filling process.

InSilicoTrials will handle the data processed in the project through a simulation platform.

Luca Emili, CEO of InSilicoTrials, said: “The opportunity to use the platform that we developed for modelling and simulation will allow a quick and efficient data management activity, a key factor for this project.

“Leveraging the potential of a cloud-based SaaS platform is an element of huge acceleration of activities that, until recently, required complex and heavy processes of data handling. The researchers at Takeda, RCPE, InSilicoTrials and the University of Graz will be able to cooperate and benefit from cutting-edge, high-performance and reliable features”.

Biopharmaceuticals represent one of the fastest growing segments in current drug pipelines, but their large-scale manufacturing and processing pose specific challenges to the drug formulation scientist, as these large and complex molecules are sensitive to variations of environmental conditions and process-induced stress. Filling is the final step of the manufacturing process for liquid protein formulations and the focus of this project.

Kat Jenkins

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