Aggregates in monoclonal antibody manufacturing processes


  • María Vázquez-Rey,

    1. Manufacturing Science and Technology, Lonza Biologics Porriňo SL, A Relva s/n, 36410, Porriño, Pontevedra, Spain
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  • Dietmar A. Lang

    Corresponding author
    1. Technology Development, Lonza Biologics plc., 228 Bath Road, Slough, SL1 4DX, UK
    • Qiagen Manchester Ltd., Skelton House, Lloyd Street North, Manchester, M15 6SH, UK; telephone: 0044-161-204-1161; fax: 0044-161-204-1200.
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Monoclonal antibodies have proved to be a highly successful class of therapeutic products. Large-scale manufacturing of pharmaceutical antibodies is a complex activity that requires considerable effort in both process and analytical development. If a therapeutic protein cannot be stabilized adequately, it will lose partially or totally its therapeutic properties or even cause immunogenic reactions thus potentially further endangering the patients' health. The phenomenon of protein aggregation is a common issue that compromises the quality, safety, and efficacy of antibodies and can happen at different steps of the manufacturing process, including fermentation, purification, final formulation, and storage. Aggregate levels in drug substance and final drug product are a key factor when assessing quality attributes of the molecule, since aggregation might impact biological activity of the biopharmaceutical. In this review it is analyzed how aggregates are formed during monoclonal antibody industrial production, why they have to be removed and the manufacturing process steps that are designed to either minimize or remove aggregates in the final product. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 2011; 108:1494–1508. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.