Single-use technologies in bioprocessing keep growing and more uses surely lie ahead. Technavio Research, headquartered in London, reported that this market will experience a $2.91 billion increase in 2020–2024. To see how changes in single-use technologies impact this industry, two experts weighed in.

“Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies is a strong proponent of single-use applications in bioprocessing especially at our advanced viral therapeutics site in College Station, Texas,” says Steven Pincus, head of science and innovation. “Most of our clients in this arena have voiced strong support for the use of this approach.”

The growing market in single use also impacts training in bioprocessing. From North Carolina State University’s Biomanufacturing Training and Education Center (BTEC) in Raleigh, executive director Gary Gilleskie says, “Among our industry partners at BTEC, we see that interest in single-use bioprocessing continues to be strong and that adoption of single-use technologies is high, particularly among cell- and gene-therapy companies and contract biopharmaceutical manufacturers.”

What is driving this approach?

Economics provides a key benefit of single-use approaches. For example, Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies employs single-use methods “to reduce cost when transitioning between projects as single use does not require the same level of facility cleaning in changing from one project to another,” Pincus notes.

Single-use methods can also reduce risk. “Since many advanced viral therapeutics cannot be filtered to ensure sterility, as part of the manufacturing process we must maintain closed processes, and one way we achieve this is with single-use applications,” Pincus says. “The use of single-use applications reduces some of the concerns when we perform project risk assessments as we do not have to consider safety of workers when performing cleaning during changeover when the process is completed.”

Planning ahead

As single-use approaches get even more popular, companies need people trained in this technology. “To respond to the boom in single use, BTEC has worked over the years to incorporate single-use processing into many of the courses we offer, including those for both university students and industry professionals,” Gilleskie says.

BTEC offers a short course called “Hands-on Single-use Processing for Biopharmaceuticals” that is dedicated to the topic for professionals. In this course, participants see how single-use technology can be “incorporated into biopharmaceutical processes from vial thaw to final fill/finish,” Gilleskie says. The course “includes both lecture and significant hands-on lab components.”

Just as market indicators and manufacturers suggest, this segment of bioprocessing will get bigger in a very short time. Gilleskie agrees: “We recognize that single-use technology will continue to play an important role in bioprocessing and that its use will likely grow.”

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