By the year 2020, biopharmaceuticals are estimated to account for 50% of the most successful pharmaceutical products. (1)(2) Biologics, such as recombinant therapeutic proteins, vaccines, blood components, and regenerative medicines are growing faster than any other segment of medicines. The transition from chemically synthesized small molecule drugs to biologically-based, large molecule medicines produced through living expression systems has required the pharmaceutical industry to rethink its approach to quality control and develop novel strategies for ensuring the safety and quality of medicines.
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Highly complex biologics such as proteins, monoclonal antibodies, and cell and gene therapies increasingly fill biopharmaceutical pipelines across a range of therapeutic indications. These innovative biomedicines are introducing new challenges in monitoring and ensuring quality across the drug development workflow, from early stage research and discovery to clinical testing, regulatory review, manufacturing, and post-marketing surveillance.