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November 21, 2022 16 mins
In this podcast we spoke with Klaus Kienle, Global Product Manager for the Mixing portfolio at Pall Corporation about the latest mixing technologies including single-use solutions, the need for increased flexibility, and a more standard vendor agnostic approach. The Role of Mixing in Biomanufacturing I started the conversation by asking Klaus if he could talk about the role that mixing plays in biomanufacturing and current challenges in this area. Klaus explained that mixing is an omnipresent process. It starts with upstream buffer media and ends in fill and finish. It is an important part of manufacturing across several modalities, including monoclonal antibodies, mRNA based vaccines, gene therapies and various other processes. Across these various applications, flexibility is key, and it is also the primary challenge for the future. He continued by saying that Pall customers have expressed that they want increased flexibility, better lead times, and less supplier dependency in the future. Advancements in Mixing Next, I asked about the latest technological advancements in mixing. Klaus stated that the latest advancements are moving towards tackling the flexibility challenge, which means supplying solutions that are available with shorter lead times and are more vendor agnostic, so they fit with other vendors’ manifolds and full sets. This is consistent with the recent launch of the Allegro™ Ready Standard Solutions from Pall, which is not only limited to mixers, but also includes storage transfer sets and other segments. Pall has launched this new standard set ranging from a 30 liter mixer up to a 3000 liter mixer. I continued the discussion by asking if he could talk a little bit more about some of the additional advantages of this set of new standards. He described how these standards are ready to go, so if a customer is asking for a manifold, there is no time required to generate a drawing or waiting for pricing back, resulting in a short lead time. Pall is working towards having these standards available off the shelf, reducing lead time further with availability in the range of single digit weeks, depending on manufacturing and where the customer is located. He shared that Pall has invested $1.5 billion to increase capacity and reduce lead times. Single Use Mixing I then asked him about some of the remaining challenges that exist with single use technologies. Klaus explained that one of the main challenges that the remains in single use is sustainability, especially since it consists predominantly of plastic components. However, there was a recent publication in New Biotechnology, authored by biopharmaceutical companies, “Streamlined life cycle assessment of single-use technologies in biopharmaceutical manufacture.” It makes the case that single use technology is providing better sustainability in the biopharmaceutical process because single use technology allows customers to use more intensified processes, thereby increasing the efficiency per consumable. Single use technologies also support a closed process and reduced clean room requirements resulting in lower energy requirements. This is in line with the new standard designs from Pall, where the filtered product line is fully closed and processing ready. For instance, now the powder port on these designs ensures a closed and controlled environment. This then allows bioprocessing companies to lower the cleanroom environment requirements, which translates to significant energy savings. Modular Mixing Approach I continued our discussion by asking Klaus about a recent white paper published by Pall and Lonza, that highlighted a modular mixing approach. (need paper link) He described how a modular approach can give customers the flexibility that they are looking for to adapt to new requests, especially in the contract manufacturing organization (CMO) environment. Global CMOs are producing product for developers and as a result,
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