Towards the implementation of quality by design to the production of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies with desired glycosylation patterns



Quality by design (QbD) is a scheme for the development, manufacture, and approval of pharmaceutical products. The end goal of QbD is to ensure product quality by building it into the manufacturing process. The main regulatory bodies are encouraging its implementation to the manufacture of all new pharmaceuticals including biological products. Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) are currently the leading products of the biopharmaceutical industry. It has been widely reported that glycosylation directly influences the therapeutic mechanisms by which mAbs function in vivo. In addition, glycosylation has been identified as one of the main sources of monoclonal antibody heterogeneity, and thus, a critical parameter to follow during mAb manufacture. This article reviews the research on glycosylation of mAbs over the past 2 decades under the QbD scope. The categories presented under this scope are: (a) definition of the desired clinical effects of mAbs, (b) definition of the glycosylation-associated critical quality attributes (glycCQAs) of mAbs, (c) assessment of process parameters that pose a risk for mAb glycCQAs, and (d) methods for accurately quantifying glycCQAs of mAbs. The information available in all four areas leads us to conclude that implementation of QbD to the manufacture of mAbs with specific glycosylation patterns will be a reality in the near future. We also foresee that the implementation of QbD will lead to the development of more robust and efficient manufacturing processes and to a new generation of mAbs with increased clinical efficacy. © 2010 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Biotechnol. Prog., 2010