Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing: Historical and Future Trends in Titers, Yields, and Efficiency in Commercial-Scale Bioprocessing

by Ronald A. Rader and Eric S. Langer
Volume 13, Issue 4 (Winter 2014/2015)

This article documents the progress, current state, and projected future trends in titer and yield as industrial and technological benchmarks for commercial-scale biopharmaceutical manufacture. Biopharmaceutical product commercial-scale manufacturing (bioprocessing) was benchmarked by tracking titers and yields over time, from the 1980s to the present, and further out ten years. This study compiled commercial-scale titer and yield data for a set of 39 major biopharmaceuticals, nearly all mammalian-expressed proteins, particularly, monoclonal antibody products. This included extensive searches of many potential data sources, including contacting knowledgeable bioprocessing professionals. In the 1980s and early 1990s, average titers at commercial scale started out at < 0.5 g/L. The current average reported commercial-scale titer is 2.56 g/L. We also confirmed that the manufacture of commercial products has, over the years, undergone repeated cycles of technical production upgrades, with titers and yields increasing incrementally, even for the oldest products. BioPlan estimates that ≥3 g/L is now the industry standard titer for new bioprocesses being developed, with ≤7 g/L now presumed to be the general industry top-end titer level that, while not unusual, is not often achieved. In terms of yields, we found a 70% yield to be the current industry average yield, not the often-cited 75%. Improvements in downstream purification technologies (e.g., as demonstrated by higher yields) have been fewer and adopted more slowly than upstream production...

Rader RA, Langer ES. Biopharmaceutical manufacturing: historical and future trends in titers, yields, and efficiency in commercial-scale bioprocessing. BioProcess J, 2015; 13(4): 47–54.

Posted online January 20, 2015.