Vaccine - Fill & Finish Tech Transfer
With the recent developments in both Moderna’s and Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccination, many pharmaceutical companies are looking for companies to help with their vaccine fill-finish needs.
THERE IS NO ROOM FOR ERROR IN TECH TRANSFER
Current OSD Vaccine Fill & Finish Capacity
The speed at which the creation of Moderna's & Pfizer’s vaccine was accomplished is remarkable considering pharmaceutical development is typically measured in years, not months. For many of us, it is a hopeful sign for the future and provides a positive outlook for our industry’s ability to rapidly and safely advance drug candidates and deliver better results for patients. However, it has presented another challenge, vaccine manufacturing capacity.
As COVID-19 vaccine development and manufacturing has rightfully become a global priority, it has left other vaccine producers and public health organizations searching for manufacturing capacity. Facilities committed to COVID 19 production is forcing non-COVID 19 vaccine makers to shift their production needs to other facilities, requiring a technology transfer in each case. Our experts can provide you with the best practices to implement.
Pii’s expert scientists have experience transferring even the most complicated formulas. Now more than ever, it is important to get tech transfer done right the first time.
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Why is Vaccine Production Being Transferred?
Moving the production of a vaccine to a new facility is a major decision driven by specific underlying conditions.
Knowing why the transfer is being initiated can quickly steer the gaining facility staff to a start-point for the project, can help reduce or eliminate unnecessary work, and shorten the time it takes to begin production.
Occasionally, a transfer might be initiated because of a quality issue at the current manufacturer that cannot be resolved or a secondary CDMO is required because their current manufacturer is overbooked.
Transfers with existing quality issues are more complex and the urgent need for a secondary CDMO can create a lot of pressure.
Some vaccine production can be triggered by models predicting seasonal illnesses, driving the need to rapidly increase vaccine manufacturing. When the models miscalculate the peaks, vaccine production is pursued with greater urgency.
As pharmaceutical companies take steps to reduce risk, they are seeking new CDMO production facilities, ingredient providers, equipment manufacturers, contract packagers, and more closely considering the location of patient populations. In this case, the tech transfer is part of a larger supply chain transformation.
No Two Tech Transfers Are Alike
Moving vaccine production to a new facility can occur for a handful of reasons, but analytical methods and manufacturing processes can vary greatly.
When transferring commercial vaccine production, the amount of process data is significant.
When transferring a small clinical trial-batch operation, the tech transfer may pay particular attention to analytical methods, the drug product, and scalability testing. The formulation should have been tested for stability and quality for larger commercial-batch production. If not, the tech transfer must include this testing. If proper testing was done, the records may reveal a problem that could be preempted before production begins, saving valuable time and resources.
Unique Vaccine Personas
Vaccines are complex and the underlying science varies greatly. Some vaccines contain live or inactive organisms and others are built on synthetic particles. Each requires a different manufacturing process, specific equipment, and special operator skills.
All vaccines in the United States are regulated as biological products. Modern vaccine technology using synthetic particles are challenging traditional regulatory oversight models. When transferring vaccine production in which the formulation is derived from synthetic particles, regulatory experts must be an integral part of the tech transfer.
The injection is the most common delivery method for vaccines. Therefore, the primary packaging could be a vial, ampoule, prefilled syringe, or auto-injector. If a prefilled delivery mechanism is used, the FDA considers it a combination product, a dose in a medical device, and it has its own FDA guidance.
Vaccines can often require special temperature control in the manufacturing facility as well as the distribution supply chain. For many vaccines, temperature is a critical quality attribute. Temperature changes place the drug product’s quality at risk and real-time monitoring is required for vaccines like this and the gaining CDMO must have adequate cold-storage space.
Some vaccines are also highly-potent, innovative cancer vaccines containing mRNA encoding tumor antigens are one example. Vaccines in this category require special handling procedures to protect operators, one that limits interaction between personnel and drug product to ensure quality. And, they must be manufactured in an aseptic environment under strict containment conditions to prevent cross-contamination.