2019 Archived Content

Cambridge Healthtech Institute’s 12th Annual

Lyophilization and Emerging Drying Technologies

January 15-16, 2019


The popular 12th Annual Lyophilization and Emerging Drying Technologies conference covers latest trends, advances and challenges in lyophilization and emerging drying technologies. This conference will feature in-depth case studies, new and unpublished data, and discussions on developing scientifically sound freeze-dried formulation, process optimization for biologics and vaccines. It will also present cutting-edge research and case studies on formulation challenges of freeze dried formulation and cell, gene and tissue based products. In addition, this conference will aim to address drying in cartridges, storage stability, cell, gene and tissue based products, QbD and PAT approaches for scale-up from R&D scale to full production level, and selection of container closure systems.

Final Agenda


1:00 pm Registration (Sapphire West Foyer)

1:30 Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing (Sapphire Ballroom)

2:00 Chairperson’s Opening Remarks

Robin Bogner, PhD, Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy, University of Connecticut


2:05 Overcoming Implementation Challenges of Novel Drying Technologies and Continuous Manufacture

Satoshi Ohtake, PhD, Senior Director, Pharmaceutical Research and Development, Biotherapeutic Pharmaceutical Sciences, Pfizer, Inc.

microphoneBlackWhile the pharmaceutical industry continues to demonstrate its creativity associated with novel compounds in development, the processing technologies utilized for their manufacture have not kept their pace. This is not a reflection of the paucity of innovation associated with processing technology. The barrier can broadly be classified as economic, logistical, technical and psychological, and all elements need to be overcome for successful implementation of a new technology.

Sapphire 410

2:45 Predictive Models of Lyophilization Process for Development, Scale-Up/Tech Transfer and Manufacturing

Moussa_EhabEhab Moussa, PhD, Senior Scientist, Drug Product Development, AbbVie, Inc.

Scale-up and technology transfer of lyophilization processes remains a challenge that requires thorough characterization of the laboratory and larger scale lyophilizers. In this study, computational fluid dynamics and steady state heat and mass transfer modeling of the vial were utilized for scale-up and technology transfer. The models were verified experimentally for lyophilizers of different scales and were then applied to create and evaluate a design space for a drug product.

3:15 Wireless Multipoint Temperature Sensors for Monitoring Pharmaceutical Lyophilization

Peroulis_DimitriosDimitrios Peroulis, PhD, Associate Dean for External Affairs, College of Engineering, Purdue University

In this talk, we discuss the design and evaluation of a fully wireless, multi-point temperature sensor system as a Process Analytical Technology (PAT) for lyophilization. Each sensor contains seven sensing elements which measure the product temperature at various positions of the contents of a glass vial. The sensor performance has been validated through a variety of freeze-drying experiments.

3:45 Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing (Sapphire Ballroom)

Sapphire 410

4:30 Novel Methods to Study Effects of Moisture and Formulation on the Stability of Lyophilized Proteins

Fureby_AnnaAnna Millqvist Fureby, PhD, Centre Director, NextBioForm; Senior Scientist, Surface, Process and Formulation, RISE Research Institutes of Sweden

Lyophilized protein formulations are influenced by composition processing and moisture. The distribution of protein and excipients is non-uniform, as studied by confocal Raman spectroscopy and other spectroscopic techniques. Moisture influences both the material properties and the stability of the protein, as studied by sorption calorimetry, DSC and high-resolution scattering techniques. A combination of analytical techniques enables a more comprehensive mechanistic understanding of protein stability in lyophilized formulations.


5:00 CO-PRESENTATION: Detection of Protein Tertiary Conformational Changes in Lyophilized Protein in the Solid State

Bogner_RobinRobin Bogner, PhD, Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy, University of Connecticut

Lauren Fontana, Doctoral Candidate, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy, University of Connecticut

A simple analysis of the lyophilized protein solid immediately after processing (requiring no reconstitution) that predicts stability would be ideal. FTIR is used to monitor secondary structural changes, but with limited prediction ability. Raman spectroscopy has more recently been suggested to characterize both secondary and tertiary protein structure in the solid state. Principal component analysis of Raman spectra can detect some of the subtler structural changes.

5:30 Close of Day

5:30 - 5:45 Short Course Registration

5:45 - 8:45 Recommended Dinner Short Courses*

SC3: Protein Aggregation: Mechanism, Characterization and Consequences

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*Separate registration required


7:45 am Registration and Morning Coffee (Sapphire West Foyer)

Sapphire 410

8:15 Chairperson’s Remarks

Satoshi Ohtake, PhD, Senior Director, Pharmaceutical Research and Development, Biotherapeutic Pharmaceutical Sciences, Pfizer, Inc.

8:20 Developing Low-Frequency Raman Methods to Predict Lyophilized Protein Stability

Cicerone_MarcusMarcus T. Cicerone, PhD, Project Leader, Biomaterials Group, National Institute of Standards and Technology

Lyophilized protein stability strongly correlates with fundamental steps of transport found at the picosecond timescale. In the past, these dynamic events have been measured by neutron scattering. We are developing benchtop optical approaches, particularly low-frequency Raman scattering, to be used as a rapid predictor of lyophilized protein stability.


Advances in Drying Technologies for Complex Delivery Systems and Sensitive Biologics
Sapphire 410

8:50 Back to Basics: Lyophilization Cycle Development for Stabilizing Complex Glycoproteins

Wendy Sunderland, BS, MBA, Director, Drug Product Development, Technical Operations, Amicus Therapeutics

The tendency when developing a lyophilized biologic is to be conservative, resulting in a product with necessary critical attributes, but an excessively long cycle.  Lyophilizers are then greatly stressed, employing low shelf temperatures and chamber pressures, for a longer time, increasing risk for product failure.  A case study will be presented for the lyophilization cycle development of a complex glycoprotein, thus reducing cycle time by half and increasing potential for success.

 9:20 SELECTED POSTER PRESENTATION: Implications of Freezing Characteristics and Primary Drying Conditions on Porous Structure of Lyophilized Formulations Containing Highly Concentrated Proteins

Shreya Kulkarni, PhD Candidate, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Connecticut

Porous structure is an important attribute for lyophilized drug products having implications on reconstitution time, mechanical integrity, dry layer resistance and protein stability. The present work investigates the effect of freezing characteristics namely ice nucleation temperature, residence time, viscosity during freezing and annealing and on porous structure. Furthermore, it also evaluates the effect of primary drying conditions (aggressive vs. conservative). 

  9:50 Coffee Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing (Sapphire Ballroom)

10:35 Development of Vacuum-Foam Drying for Preservation of Human T Cells

Balthazor_BryanBryan Balthazor, MA, Scientist, Pharmaceutical Research and Development, Pfizer, Inc.

Vacuum-foam drying (VFD) is a novel pharmaceutical drying technology that uses evaporation to rapidly remove water, forming a solid foam structure. VFD has unique benefits, such as processing at near-ambient conditions, which can enable the drying of sensitive biologics. A case study is presented here using human T cells to demonstrate formulation, processing, and VFD optimization in order to minimize drying stresses and enable refrigerated storage of human T cells.

11:05 Atmospheric Spray Freeze Drying: The ASFD Future Is Dawning

Thomas D. Robinson, MD, Managing Director, DNA, Aerosol Therapeutics, LLC

Atmospheric Spray Freeze Drying (ASFD) is an innovative, “next-generation” process with broad utility. The process yields a fine, uniform powder. Specifically, the patented ASFD process promises an efficient, cost effective alternative to standard manufacturing processes. Although ideal for heat sensitive products and especially the more expensive, easily degraded proteins, the ASFD process can dry any solution, even the more concentrated solutions, to a target level moisture content.

11:35 Challenges in Stabilization of the Next Generation of Medicines: Cells and Tissue-Based Products

Rajiv Nayar, PhD, President, HTD Biosystems, Inc.

12:05 pm Session Break

12:15 Luncheon Presentation (Sponsorship Opportunity Available) or Enjoy Lunch on Your Own

1:15 Session Break


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PepTalk Perspectives: Point-Counterpoint Discussions

2:00 Plenary Keynote Introduction

Norman Packard, PhD, CEO, Daptics

2:10 Plenary Keynote Panel

Howard Levine, PhD, President and CEO, BioProcess Technology Consultants
George BadescuGeorge Badescu, PhD, Vice President, Scientific Affairs, Heidelberg Pharma AG
Cox ManonManon Cox, PhD, Co-Founder & CEO, NextWaveBio
Zhimei Du, PhD, Director, Bioprocess & Clinical Manufacturing, Merck
Paul Jorjorian, Vice President, BioProcess Sciences, Thermo Fisher Scientific
Marina Kirkitadze, PhD, Deputy Director, Head of Biophysics and Conformation Unit, Analytical R&D Biochemistry, Sanofi Pasteur, Canada
Stefan SchmidtStefan R. Schmidt, PhD, MBA, Head, Operations (COO), BioAtrium AG


3:05 Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing (Sapphire Ballroom)

Excipients and Impurities in Pre-Filled Syringes and Freeze-Dried Formulations
Aqua D

4:00 Chairperson’s Remarks

Evgenyi Shalaev, PhD, Executive Director, Pharmaceutical Development, Allergan, Inc. 

4:05 Impact of Silicone Oil on Fatty Acid Solubility and Polysorbate Related Particle Formation

Fish_RaphaelRaphael Fish, Engineer I, Process Development, Genentech

Silicone oil coating on the interior of pre-filled syringes may act as a sink for fatty acids that are released upon hydrolytic degradation of polysorbates, potentially reducing risk of particle formation. Free fatty acids were shown to partition from an aqueous to a silicone oil phase in a glass vial model. However, the partitioning effect was not large enough to translate to significant reduction in particle formation risk at representative conditions. It was concluded that silicone oil levels in a PFS are too low to have any meaningful impact on polysorbate-related particle formation.

4:35 NEW TALK: Heterogeneity Across the Lyophilization Batch

Robin Bogner, PhD, Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy, University of Connecticut

5:05 Phase Behavior of an Alternative Surfactant, Poloxamer, during Freeze-Drying

Shalaev_EvgenyiEvgenyi Shalaev, PhD, Executive Director, Pharmaceutical Development, Allergan, Inc.

Poloxamers (e.g., P188) have been recently considered as alternative surfactants to polysorbates (tween20 and 80), as the latter are easily oxidized and can also undergo hydrolysis. In this study, complex phase behavior of aqueous solutions of a poloxamer is investigated using DSC, small-angle neutron scattering, and small- and wide-angle X-ray scattering.

5:35 SELECTED POSTER PRESENTATION: Effect of Freeze-Thaw Process Parameters on Stability of Lactate Dehydrogenase 

Bruna Minatovicz, PhD Candidate, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Connecticut

Storage of biotherapeutics in a frozen state provides operational flexibility and extends the shelf life of protein solutions. This presentation will provide an overview of the impact of freeze-and-thaw process parameters on the stability of a model protein, lactate dehydrogenase, at a large scale. A phase-field theoretical model will further provide the mechanistic understanding of possible stresses arising during the freezing process and their ultimate effect on the protein stability.

6:05 - 7:00 Networking Reception in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing (Sapphire Ballroom)

7:00 Close of Lyophilization and Emerging Drying Technologies Conference