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Elemental Quality Perspectives related to Chemically-Defined Media

QualityWhen an out-of-specification (OOS) event is encountered, investigative teams often direct their initial focus on physical attributes of the production cycle. Sifting through temperature logs, calibration data, and personnel training records can only get you so far when pursuing a root cause analysis. An often-overlooked fact is that biologically-derived pharmaceutical drugs rely upon controlled chemical environments for both production and drug viability.  Minute differences in both micronutrients and contaminants play a key role in mitigating OOS events, as well as optimizing yield and maintaining drug efficacy. To protect their investments and maximize profitability, pharmaceutical companies must incorporate chemistry quality testing beyond what their supply chain can typically support. Brooks Applied Labs has been supporting the pharmaceutical industry for over a decade in not only understanding complex chemical systems but also providing analytical services at highly specialized levels.
Micronutrients and contaminants play antagonistic roles for all organisms, which is why it is imperative to monitor for small changes in concentrations in each lot of chemically-defined media. Chemically-defined media contains a plethora of components, from salts to amino acids and transition metals, and each chemical must be monitored for both the target concentration of metal and metalloid micronutrients but also non-target (contaminants) elements which can be cytotoxic.
The first step to integrating chemistry into quality systems is requiring that each lot for every component applied to chemically-defined media has a subsample that is retained for future investigative analyses. The next stage is to ascertain if the appropriate acid-cleaned container was used for storage (also offered by BAL). By working with in-house scientists, as well as the experts at BAL, a list of elements can be generated that includes both micronutrients and possible contaminants. Understanding that the concentration of elements in the final chemically-defined media is cumulative and impacted by each component, analytical data objectives must be defined. Validated methods must then be referenced to ensure compliance. Finally, a rigorous testing regimen needs to be defined and adhered to.

Of course, the aforementioned approach to the modification of a quality system is simplistic and the actual implementation will require significant resources. However, the outcome will be a more robust quality system with an increased confidence in profitability for current and future lines of drugs. If you are currently in a state of duress over an OOS event or are compelled to mitigate future ones, contact us today. In the world of pharmaceutical drug manufacturing, time is money, and our job at BAL is to advance your interests as fast as possible.

BAL is On the Road Again…

SETAC logoThe SETAC North America 39th Annual Meeting will be held in Sacramento November 4-8 this year. Come learn more about the unexpected ways alligators can potentially cause you harm you when Elizabeth Madonick, BAL Technical Services Specialist, presents a poster on the concentrations of total mercury and methylmercury in alligator meat on Tuesday, November 6th! Contact us any time after November 8th if you would like to receive a PDF copy of this interesting research.


The same week, Russ Gerads and Jamie Fox will be attending the International Water Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona. Jamie will be presenting on “Compliance with Selenium Aquatic Life Criterion and the Importance of Speciation for Treatment Selection and Monitoring” during the session on Trace Contaminants: Detection, Removal, and Recovery on November 5th. If you are interested in receiving a copy of this presentation, please feel free to contact us after November 12th.

Benefits of Working with a Small Business

April 2018 Brooks Applied LabsThere are many options when selecting a laboratory to collaborate with on your project involving trace metals, from large multi-national networks to small, independently-owned laboratories like Brooks Applied Labs. There are notable benefits that can only come from working with a small business. When you call us, you reach a real person each time, someone with subject matter expertise who is dedicated to making sure we exceed your expectations. Being small and nimble, we have the flexibility to be able to customize our services and deliverables to meet your needs. In this age of continued consolidation in the testing industry, there are still small, niche analytical chemistry labs available with the specialized expertise to solve your toughest problems.