In July (Bastille Day by happenstance), Sartorius Stedim Biotechnology and SAFC Biosciences announced its partnership to bring our product offerings together with the intention of better serving our joint customers in the biopharmaceutical development and production space.
Since our products are amazingly complementary in their use, we feel that by working together we can better jointly address application issues that involve interaction of our products (e.g. cell culture media & sterile filtration) more effectively. In fact, we are working together to look at medium/filtration issues in several accounts. Working together is beneficial for us, and ultimately for the customer. It makes communication and collaboration easier for everyone and allows expertise from differing areas to be supportive of one another.
When our release came out, we talked about working together in areas of filtration, mixing and in liquid handling. We’ve now been working behind scenes long enough that all of these projects are underway. The idea is to generate real application data with media and buffers combined with single use disposables, mixing systems and filtration systems.
Here’s what’s going on. We essentially have three major study programs: Mixing, Filtrations and Storage in Single Use Disposables. In all instances, we are looking at popular, industry relevant products for cell culture (e.g. media/feeds) and downstream processing (e.g. buffers), and determining how they can be optimally used with various mixers, filters and single-use bags. Let me elucidate a bit.
We’ll do a matrix study using powdered media & buffers and several types of mixers. We’ll look at different mixing volumes reflecting different scales in a production process. The media and buffers involved in the study will not only be ones commonly used in the industry, but will contain components that are “easy to mix” or “very difficult to mix” from a historic perspective. At the end, we’ll be able to advise confidently on which mixing/product applications are best at differing scales and will be able to give information on best operating parameters. The QC data will also be available to review.
We’ll do a very similar study with filters. Again, we’ll test industry popular media, feeds and buffers. These will contain components that are known to give more ‘trouble” in filtration or not. We can look at several different types of filters – different membranes, sizes, and differing scales reflective of different unit operations within a process. This will again allow us to make recommendations about appropriate filter trains and cost/benefit statements relative to certain configurations.
Single Use Disposables
Again, a very similar matrix study is underway. Here we’re examining various media/buffer configurations with single use disposable bags. We’ll be generating leachable and extractable information. We’re also developing stability information on these products. We can do this with multiple film types and at different scale.
We think this type of application data packets allow us to speak more expertly about our joint product offering. We can do this as we both have expertise in different areas and it makes it much easier to do these type of studies as cooperating partners rather than each of us having to go it alone. We expect to learn new things along the way that we can incorporate into our thinking going forward and share with our customers.
It is about knowing our product better and supporting our customers better. We believe that our customers will find this valuable. However, I’d really like to hear your opinions. They’re worth more than mine.
Posted by Bruce Lehr February 2, 2010.