Therapeutic proteins can degrade upon administration as they are subjected to a variety of stresses in human body compartments. In vivo degradation may cause undesirable pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic profiles. Pre-clinical in vitro models have gained scientific interest as they enable one to evaluate the in vivo stability of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) and ultimately can improve patient safety. We used a novel approach by stripping serum of endogenous proteins, which interfere with analytical test methods. This enabled the direct analysis of the target protein without laborious sample work-up procedures.
The developed model retained the osmolality, conductivity, temperature, and pH of serum. We compared the impact of human, bovine, and artificial serum to accelerated stability conditions in histidine buffer. Target mAbs were assessed in regard to visible and sub-visible particles, as well as protein aggregation and fragmentation. Both mAbs degraded to a higher extent under physiological conditions compared to accelerated stability conditions. No relevant stability differences between the tested mAbs were observed. Our results reinforced the importance of monitoring protein stability in biological fluids or fluids emulating these conditions closely. Models enabling analysis in fluids directly allow high throughput testing in early pre-clinical stages and help in selecting molecules with increased in vivo stability.
Vinay Kamuju, Scientist, Pharmaceutical Services
Roman Mathaes, Ph.D., Associate Director, Pharmaceutical Services