An accelerated surface-mediated stress assay of antibody instability for developability studies

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  • Marie R.G. Kopp, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich
  • ,
  • Adriana Michelle Wolf Pérez, Novo Nordisk A/S
  • ,
  • Marta Virginia Zucca, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich
  • ,
  • Umberto Capasso Palmiero, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich
  • ,
  • Brigitte Friedrichsen, Novo Nordisk A/S
  • ,
  • Nikolai Lorenzen, Novo Nordisk A/S
  • ,
  • Paolo Arosio, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich

High physical stability is required for the development of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) into successful therapeutic products. Developability assays are used to predict physical stability issues such as high viscosity and poor conformational stability, but protein aggregation remains a challenging property to predict. Among different types of stresses, air–water and solid–liquid interfaces are well known to potentially trigger protein instability and induce aggregation. Yet, in contrast to the increasing number of developability assays to evaluate bulk properties, there is still a lack of experimental methods to evaluate antibody stability against interfaces. Here, we investigate the potential of a hydrophobic nanoparticle surface-mediated stress assay to assess the stability of mAbs during the early stages of development. We evaluate this surface-mediated accelerated stability assay on a rationally designed library of 14 variants of a humanized IgG4, featuring a broad span of solubility values and other developability properties. The assay could identify variants characterized by high instability against agitation in the presence of air–water interfaces. Remarkably, for the set of investigated molecules, we observe strong correlations between the extent of aggregation induced by the surface-mediated stress assay and other developability properties of the molecules, such as aggregation upon storage at 45°C, self-association (evaluated by affinity-capture self-interaction nanoparticle spectroscopy) and nonspecific interactions (estimated by cross-interaction chromatography, stand-up monolayer chromatography (SMAC), SMAC*). This highly controlled surface-mediated stress assay has the potential to complement and increase the ability of the current set of screening techniques to assess protein aggregation and developability potential of mAbs during the early stages of drug development. Abbreviations:AC-SINS: Affinity-Capture Self-Interaction Nanoparticle Spectroscopy; AMS: Ammonium sulfate precipitation; ANS: 1-anilinonaphtalene-8-sulfonate; CIC: Cross-interaction chromatography; DLS: Dynamic light scattering; HIC: Hydrophobic interaction chromatography; HNSSA: Hydrophobic nanoparticles surface-stress assay; mAb: Monoclonal antibody; NP: Nanoparticle; SEC: Size exclusion chromatography; SMAC: Stand-up monolayer chromatography; WT: Wild type.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1815995
Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Research areas

  • aggregation, antibodies, developability, formulation, interfaces, stability, surfaces

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