A system identification approach for developing model predictive controllers of antibody quality attributes in cell culture processes



As the biopharmaceutical industry evolves to include more diverse protein formats and processes, more robust control of Critical Quality Attributes (CQAs) is needed to maintain processing flexibility without compromising quality. Active control of CQAs has been demonstrated using model predictive control techniques, which allow development of processes which are robust against disturbances associated with raw material variability and other potentially flexible operating conditions. Wide adoption of model predictive control in biopharmaceutical cell culture processes has been hampered, however, in part due to the large amount of data and expertise required to make a predictive model of controlled CQAs, a requirement for model predictive control. Here we developed a highly automated, perfusion apparatus to systematically and efficiently generate predictive models using application of system identification approaches. We successfully created a predictive model of %galactosylation using data obtained by manipulating galactose concentration in the perfusion apparatus in serialized step change experiments. We then demonstrated the use of the model in a model predictive controller in a simulated control scenario to successfully achieve a %galactosylation set point in a simulated fed-batch culture. The automated model identification approach demonstrated here can potentially be generalized to many CQAs, and could be a more efficient, faster, and highly automated alternative to batch experiments for developing predictive models in cell culture processes, and allow the wider adoption of model predictive control in biopharmaceutical processes. © 2017 The Authors Biotechnology Progress published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of American Institute of Chemical Engineers Biotechnol. Prog., 33:1647–1661, 2017