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Keywords:

  • arginine;
  • protein purification;
  • protein stability;
  • virus inactivation

For the manufacturing of recombinant protein therapeutics produced from mammalian cell culture, demonstrating the capacity of the purification process to effectively clear infectious viruses is a regulatory requirement. At least two process steps, using different mechanisms of virus removal and/or inactivation, should be validated in support of the regulatory approval process. For example, exposure of the product stream to low pH, detergents or solvent/detergent combinations is commonly incorporated in protein purification processes for the inactivation of lipid-enveloped viruses. However, some proteins have limited stability at low pH or in the presence of the detergents, and alternative techniques for achieving the inactivation of enveloped viruses would be beneficial. We present here an alternative and novel approach for the rapid inactivation of enveloped viruses using pH-neutral buffer solutions containing arginine. The implementation of this approach in a monoclonal antibody or Fc-fusion protein purification process is described and illustrated with several different therapeutic proteins. The use of the neutral pH arginine solution was able to effectively inactivate two enveloped model viruses, with no measurable effect on the product quality of the investigated proteins. Thus, the use of pH-neutral arginine containing buffer solutions provides an alternative means of virus inactivation where other forms of virus inactivation, such as low pH and/or solvent/detergent treatments are not possible or undesirable due to protein stability limitations. © 2013 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Biotechnol. Prog., 30:108–112, 2014