Journal of pharmaceutical sciences

Sorbitol crystallization-induced aggregation in frozen mAb formulations.

PMID 25219372


Sorbitol crystallization-induced aggregation of mAbs in the frozen state was evaluated. The effect of protein aggregation resulting from sorbitol crystallization was measured as a function of formulation variables such as protein concentration and pH. Long-term studies were performed on both IgG1 and IgG2 mAbs over the protein concentration range of 0.1-120 mg/mL. Protein aggregation was measured by size-exclusion HPLC (SE-HPLC) and further characterized by capillary-electrophoresis SDS. Sorbitol crystallization was monitored and characterized by subambient differential scanning calorimetry and X-ray diffraction. Aggregation due to sorbitol crystallization is inversely proportional to both protein concentration and formulation pH. At high protein concentrations, sorbitol crystallization was suppressed, and minimal aggregation by SE-HPLC resulted, presumably because of self-stabilization of the mAbs. The glass transition temperature (Tg ') and fragility index measurements were made to assess the influence of molecular mobility on the crystallization of sorbitol. Tg ' increased with increasing protein concentration for both mAbs. The fragility index decreased with increasing protein concentration, suggesting that it is increasingly difficult for sorbitol to crystallize at high protein concentrations.