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In vitro characterization of recombinant factor VIII concentrates reveals significant differences in protein content, activity and thrombin activation profile


Correspondence: Prof. Dr. Johannes Oldenburg, Institute of Experimental Haematology and Transfusion Medicine, University Clinic Bonn, Sigmund-Freud-Str. 25, Bonn, Germany.

Tel.: +49 228 287 15175; fax: +49 228 287 14783;



Recombinant factor VIII (rFVIII) concentrates differ due to cell lines, culture conditions, presence of the B domain and authorized potency assays. This study characterizes three commercially available rFVIII concentrates: a second-generation full length (A), a third-generation full length (B) and a third-generation B domain-deleted (BDD) product (C). rFVIII concentrates were characterized for FVIII activity (FVIII:C) by one-stage clotting and chromogenic assays, FVIII antigen (FVIII:Ag), thrombin activation profile and FXa-generation assay. The rFVIII concentrates exhibited significant differences with regard to FVIII:C, FVIII:Ag and thrombin activation profile. Product A had significantly greater FVIII:C and FVIII:Ag relative to the measured values of products B and C. In addition, product A demonstrated faster and more complete activation by thrombin than the two others. BDD product C had the slowest measured thrombin activation rate. Product A exhibited a greater in vitro FXa generation than products B and C. We found no differences in FXa generation among all three products when FXa generation was normalized for FVIII:Ag. The greater FVIII:C and FVIII:Ag values for product A compared with that for products B and C are due to application of different authorized potency assays (one-stage assay for A vs. chromogenic assay for B and C). The variation in thrombin activation profiles may arise from differences in cell line-dependent posttranslational modifications of the various recombinant proteins.