Product Characterization

Protein Therapeutics and Aggregates Characterized By Photon Correlation Spectroscopy

    New biological entities (NBEs, therapeutic proteins such as interferons or antibodies) are much more complex than new chemical entities (NCEs), the classic “chemical” active ingredients. First, they are much larger. The average molecular weight of antibodies is ~150,000 g/mol. Second, most NBEs contain three-dimensional structural elements — with the protein secondary and tertiary structure being the most prominent, but quaternary structures are also known for some. The 3D structures are essential for correct bioactivity (1), but they are…

Microanalytical Techniques for Identifying Nonprotein Contaminants in Biologics

Proteins can aggregate at any point during pharmaceutical manufacturing. Regulatory agencies pay special attention to aggregates that can enhance immune responses and cause adverse clinical effects and those that can compromise the safety and efficacy of a drug product. Biopharmaceutical companies have stringent quality control (QC) procedures in place to ensure that their final products are free of contaminants and defects, including protein aggregates. Trained QC inspectors, however, can typically see product defects or particulate material only as small as…

Using In Vitro Assays for Therapeutic Enzyme Characterization

A number of biopharmaceuticals are enzymes that act in vivo on high-molecular substrates. It can be a challenge to develop in vitro methods for accurately assessing their biological activity. Interest is also developing in using enzyme kinetic parameters as product quality attributes under the quality-by-design (QbD) initiative. Among biotechnology therapeutics, the conventional method of expressing potency is in units/mg of biopolymer. For enzymes, a unit of activity was defined in 1958 by the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology…

Rapid Assessment of Vaccine Potency

The global vaccine market is growing annually by 16% and is expected to reach $21 billion by 2010 (1). Much of the predicted growth of this market is expected to come from the introduction of new vaccines, either against diseases for which no vaccine currently exists or as second-generation products to replace existing ones. Much research is still centered on developing vaccines to prevent infectious diseases caused by microbial and viral pathogens. This segment is being fueled by a number…

21st Century Vaccine Manufacturing

Establishment of standard production platforms can help vaccine development move a step closer to the commercial, technical, and regulatory benefits increasingly enjoyed by developers of monoclonal antibody (MAb) products. Three recent advances especially will assist vaccine manufacturing development: rapid analytical methods to support evaluation of process design and provide in-process control; and the establishment of supply chains and vendors across Asia for bioprocessing equipment and consumables that meet the highest international standards. Whereas some workers in the field may consider…

Assay Validation for Rapid Detection of Mycoplasma Contamination

Mycoplasmas and related bacteria in the class Mollicutes are parasitic organisms found not only on the external surfaces of a wide range of eukaryotic host cells, but also intracellularly. They are characterized by small size and lack of a rigid cell wall, which gives them resistance to β-lactam antibiotics and the ability to pass through 0.2-µm filters (1,2). Contamination by Mollicutes is a common problem for cell cultures that is not easily detected because it usually does not produce turbidity…

Why Do So Many Biopharmaceuticals Fail?

Biopharmaceutials and the processes used to make them are exceedingly complex, and the path to developing new therapeutics is a high-risk endeavor. The emphasis today is on controlling product quality, safety, and efficacy through understanding biological mechanisms, key product attributes, and process parameters. Such information is also crucial for guiding development efforts to improve chances of success in the clinic and for gaining regulatory approval. Analytical methods provide the foundation for acquiring such knowledge. Efforts devoted to developing meaningful and…

“Combine All Files” Maps

Many proteins are regulated by posttranslational modifications (PTMs) such as deamidation, phosphorylation, and glycosylation. Documented effects of PTMs include changes in enzymatic activity, interactions with other proteins, subcellular localization, and targeted degradation (1, 2). Also these physicochemical modifications may also affect receptor binding (3) or higher order structure (4) and result in clinical effects such as changes to bioactivity, immunogenicity, and bioavailability (5). The development of analytical technologies to rapidly interrogate protein structure also has direct relevance to the biopharmaceutical…

Higher-Order Structure Comparison of Proteins Derived from Different Clones or Processes

Biological product manufacture is a complex process that constantly evolves throughout the lifecycle of each product even after its approval. A number of constraints (such as increased yield, scale-up, or a need for greater purity) can necessitate the redesign or optimization of a given process. Heterogeneity of a biopharmaceutical product at the beginning of its shelf life comes from inherent variations in its production process that lead to various forms of posttranslational modifications and degradation products. Clearly, the foremost aim…

Understanding Analytical Methods

As biosimilars move into the forefront of consciousness in the biopharmaceutical industry, analytical methods, especially comparability studies, have an increasingly important role to play. Additionally, as more products progress from phase 1 to 2–3 studies and require production-scale manufacturing, analytical methods are an important component of technology transfer or in-house scale-up efforts. The Analytical Methods for Biologics track will elucidate these challenges, and will include discussions about the latest changes in immunogenicity guidance, posttranslational modifications, analytical strategies, comparability testing, and…