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Rational optimization of a monoclonal antibody improves the aggregation propensity and enhances the CMC properties along the entire pharmaceutical process chain.

mAbs (2020-07-14)
Joschka Bauer, Sven Mathias, Sebastian Kube, Kerstin Otte, Patrick Garidel, Martin Gamer, Michaela Blech, Simon Fischer, Anne R Karow-Zwick
ABSTRACT

The discovery of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) primarily focuses on their biological activity favoring the selection of highly potent drug candidates. These candidates, however, may have physical or chemical attributes that lead to unfavorable chemistry, manufacturing, and control (CMC) properties, such as low product titers, conformational and colloidal instabilities, or poor solubility, which can hamper or even prevent development and manufacturing. Hence, there is an urgent need to consider the developability of mAb candidates during lead identification and optimization. This work provides a comprehensive proof of concept study for the significantly improved developability of a mAb variant that was optimized with the help of sophisticated in silico tools relative to its difficult-to-develop parental counterpart. Interestingly, a single amino acid substitution in the variable domain of the light chain resulted in a three-fold increased product titer after stable expression in Chinese hamster ovary cells. Microscopic investigations revealed that wild type mAb-producing cells displayed potential antibody inclusions, while the in silico optimized variant-producing cells showed a rescued phenotype. Notably, the drug substance of the in silico optimized variant contained substantially reduced levels of aggregates and fragments after downstream process purification. Finally, formulation studies unraveled a significantly enhanced colloidal stability of the in silico optimized variant while its folding stability and potency were maintained. This study emphasizes that implementation of bioinformatics early in lead generation and optimization of biotherapeutics reduces failures during subsequent development activities and supports the reduction of project timelines and resources.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
2-Phenylindole, technical grade, 95%
Sigma-Aldrich
Anti-Human Kappa Light Chain (Bound and Free) antibody produced in goat, affinity isolated antibody, lyophilized powder