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Scale-down model qualification of ambr (R) 250 high-throughput mini-bioreactor system for two commercial-scale mAb processes
Recent advances in high-throughput (HTP) automated mini-bioreactor systems have significantly improved development timelines for early-stage biologic programs. Automated platforms such as the ambr (R) 250 have demonstrated the ability, using appropriate scale-down approaches, to provide reliable estimates of process performance and product quality from bench to pilot scale, but data sets comparing to large-scale commercial processes (>10,000 L) are limited. As development moves toward late stages, specifically process characterization (PC), a qualified scale-down model (SDM) of the commercial process is a regulatory requirement as part of Biologics License Application (BLA)-enabling activities. This work demonstrates the qualification of the ambr (R) 250 as a representative SDM for two monoclonal antibody (mAb) commercial processes at scales >10,000 L. Representative process performance and product quality associated with each mAb were achieved using appropriate scale-down approaches, and special attention was paid to pCO(2) to ensure consistent performance and product quality. Principal component analysis (PCA) and univariate equivalence testing were utilized in the qualification of the SDM, along with a statistical evaluation of process performance and product-quality attributes for comparability. The ambr (R) 250 can predict these two commercial-scale processes (at center-point condition) for cell-culture performance and product quality. The time savings and resource advantages to performing PC studies in a small-scale HTP system improves the potential for the biopharmaceutical industry to get products to patients more quickly.