Journal of pharmaceutical sciences

Combined application of high resolution and tandem mass spectrometers to characterize methionine oxidation in a parathyroid hormone formulation.

PMID 19711445


Identification and monitoring of degradation products is a critical aspect of drug product stability programs. This process can present unique challenges when working with complex biopharmaceutical formulations that do not readily lend themselves to straightforward HPLC analysis. The therapeutic 34 amino acid parathyroid hormone fragment (PTH1-34) contains methionine (Met) residues at positions 8 and 18. Oxidation of these Met residues results in reduced biological activity and thus efficacy of the potential drug product. Here, we present an effective approach for the identification of PTH1-34 oxidation products in a drug product formulation in which the stability indicating method used non-MS compatible HPLC conditions to separate excipients, drug substance and degradation products. High resolution and tandem mass spectrometers were used in conjunction with cyanogen bromide (CNBr) mediated digestion to accurately identify the oxidation products observed in an alternative MS compatible HPLC method used for drug substance analysis. All anticipated CNBr digested peptide fragments, including both oxidized and nonoxidized peptide fragments, were positively identified using TOF MS without the need for additional enzymatic digestion. Once identified, the oxidation products generated were injected onto the original non-MS compatible HPLC drug product stability indicating method and the respective retention times were confirmed. This allowed the oxidative stability of different formulations to be effectively monitored during the solid state stability program and during variant selection.