Advanced Control Bioreactor System Introduced to the U.S. Market by Yokogawa and ICQ Consultants

By Shin Kai

Acquisition or Partnership

Yokogawa Electric Corporation and Integrated Commissioning and Qualification Consultants, Corp. (ICQ Consultants) of Southborough, Massachusetts, announced that they have entered into a partnership agreement under which ICQ Consultants will provide consulting and engineering services for the installation, maintenance, qualification, and support of Yokogawa's advanced control bioreactor systems and related products in the United States.

As a result of the COVID pandemic, the global biopharmaceutical market has been growing at an unprecedented rate, with significant investments being made in diagnostics, vaccine development, and medical devices to test and treat the coronavirus.  These investments have driven demand for infrastructure in developing and manufacturing monoclonal antibody drugs and products that require mammalian cell bioreactor technologies.

Since 2007, ICQ Consultants has played an important role in the commissioning and qualification of manufacturing plants in the major life sciences hubs in the United States, including some of the world's largest biomanufacturing facilities.  As part of this partnership agreement, Yokogawa will leverage ICQ Consultants' engineering and laboratory expertise in the biopharmaceutical segment to deploy its new bioprocess technologies in the United States.  The first portfolio product, the Advanced Control Bioreactor System BR1000, was recently released on January 8, offering significant performance advantages over existing methods for biologics development.

The automation of manual processes is a rapidly advancing trend in the biopharmaceutical industry.   For complete automation of the fed-batch mammalian cell culture process, the control of glucose -- a key nutrient source -- is critical. Through in-line sensing and model predictive control software, and automated feeding, a stable concentration of glucose in bioreactors can be achieved.  The BR1000 automates lab-scale mammalian cell culture with highly accurate real-time monitoring and advanced process control.

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