Product Characterization

Measure Twice, Treat Once: Navigating the Regulatory Landscape of Assay Development to Ensure High-Quality CGT Products

Cell and gene therapies (CGTs) are a novel and fast-growing class of transformative therapies designed to address gaps in traditional treatment strategies of some of the most severe diseases. By definition, gene therapy “seeks to modify or manipulate expression of a gene to alter the biological properties of living cells for therapeutic use” (1). That can be either an in vivo delivery of a gene or delivery of a gene to a patient’s cells that are manipulated outside of the…

Demonstrating Intactness of Biopharmaceutical Products: Intact Molecular-Weight Analysis and Terminal Sequencing of Proteins

Regulations require that biomanufacturers assess the intactness of protein and glycoprotein products as well as confirm the terminal sequences to look for existing variations. ICH Q6B guideline section 6.1.1 c states: Terminal amino acid analysis is performed to identify the nature and homogeneity of the amino- and carboxy-terminal amino acids. If the desired product is found to be heterogeneous with respect to the terminal amino acids, the relative amounts of the variant forms should be determined using an appropriate analytical…

Mitigate Risk with Effector Function Characterization for Antibody Therapeutics

The complexities of biomanufacturing combined with heterogeneity introduced by cellular expression systems present significant challenges to assessing the quality of biologics such as monoclonal antibodies (MAbs). Information related to the critical quality attributes (CQAs) of MAb drug candidates is unknown during early phase drug development. It must be established empirically by physical, structural, and functional analyses as early as possible to accelerate development and mitigate risk through greater understanding of product characteristics. High-resolution analytical techniques are required to answer questions…

Special Report: Current Analytical Approaches to Biophysical Characterization in a Regulatory Environment

Structural integrity of protein-based therapeutics is one of the major challenges in the biopharmaceutical industry. Multiple factors such as product stability, efficacy, and shelf life could be affected following minor changes in manufacturing process. Multiple biophysical methods employing spectroscopic and calorimetric tools can be used to analyse Higher Order Structure (HOS). Moreover, with an increasing demand for generating as much structural information as possible for regulatory submissions, a requirement for these analyses in a GMP environment is also important. This…

Biosimilarity Assessments: The Totality of Evidence Framework

Biosimilars are evaluated through comparisons with their reference products using abbreviated pathways that have evolved significantly over the past few years. Scientists and regulators now accept that some quality attributes can vary from batch to batch over a product’s lifecycle, even for reference products. Moreover, reference and similar biotechnology products can show differences in noncritical quality attributes but still demonstrate comparable efficacy and safety (1). Here we describe a similarity assessment approach that is also applicable to comparability of lifecycle…

Biopharmaceutical Characterization, Part 2: Applications and Strategies for Diverse Products — A Conference Report

Last fall, KNect365 brought together more than 250 analytical specialists to discuss biological assays and characterization of well-characterized biologics in Rockville, MD. Speakers from the US Food and Drug Administration joined experts from leading biopharmaceutical companies, service providers, and consultancies for case studies, regulatory interactions, sharing perspectives, and learning about emerging technologies. Part 1 of this report in January 2019 focused on the bioassay section of the meeting. Here in Part 2 sponsored by Sartorius, BPI’s senior technical editor reports…

Analytical Challenges: Characterization of Oligonucleotide Therapeutics

Recent approvals of oligonucleotide therapeutics are a clear signal for optimism for this product class. This is supported by the strength of the current pipeline which has over 180 active oligonucleotide clinical programs in various phases of development. Improvements in analytical technology and know-how have played a key role in enabling suitable characterization and quality control strategies to overcome the difficulties associated with testing these complex molecules. Despite the lack of dedicated regulatory guidelines related to characterization or quality control,…

Analytical Tools to Improve Decision-Making During Product Development

Speed to clinic testing — and then speed to market — are highly significant metrics for companies developing biopharmaceuticals. By increasing the pace of drug development, these companies can reduce costs, obtain revenues early, and establish commanding positions in the market relative to their competitors. High-throughput development tools have contributed much to the acceleration of drug development in recent years. Such technologies enable the testing of many process parameters in parallel. Combining them with multifactorial “design of experiment” (DoE) analysis…

Biosimilars: Challenging the Justifications for Clinical Testing

The Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act (BPIA) of 2009, describes the need for clinical trials as follows (1): “(cc) a clinical study or studies (including the assessment of immunogenicity and pharmacokinetics or pharmacodynamics) that are sufficient to demonstrate safety, purity, and potency in one or more appropriate conditions of use for which the reference product is licensed and intended to be used and for which licensure is sought for the biological product.” However, all the above studies are left…

Speeding Characterization of Biologics: Replace Traditional Assay Technologies with Label-Free Quantification and Kinetics

FortéBio’s Octet instruments are an ideal replacement for ELISA, HPLC, and SPR techniques in quantification of antibodies and recombinant proteins and in testing product potency for lot release. Bio-Layer Interferometry (BLI) technology monitors biomolecular interactions in real time to determine affinity, kinetics, and concentration. The plate-based, microfluidics-free format offers users several distinct advantages over other technologies. BLI-based systems can achieve higher throughput, with the flexibility to measure two to 96 samples simultaneously. Lower maintenance requirements and increased ease-of-use further shorten…