The advent of monoclonal antibody biosimilar products has stimulated the development of analytical methods that can better characterize an important quality attribute, namely the higher order structure (HOS). Here, we propose a simple approach based on heteronuclear 2D NMR techniques at natural abundance for generating spectral fingerprints of the HOS at high resolution. We show that the proposed method can assess the HOS of six therapeutic products, adalimumab (Humira®), bevacizumab (Avastin®), infliximab (Remicade®), rituximab (Rituxan®), trastuzumab (Herceptin®), and Etanercept (Enbrel®). After treatment with immobilized papain, the purified fragments (Fab and Fc) were analyzed by 2D proton-nitrogen and proton-carbon NMR correlations. All Fab and Fc fragments produced high-resolution 2D-NMR spectra from which assessment of their higher order structure can be performed in the context of comparability studies. In particular, the two different sequences of Fc fragments could be unambiguously distinguished. The results show that it is possible to obtain structurally dependent information at amino acid resolution of these important therapeutic agents.

Biosimilars, Monoclonal antibody therapeutics, NMR spectroscopy
Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis
Department of Chemistry

Hodgson, D.J. (Derek J.), Ghasriani, H. (Houman), & Aubin, Y. (2019). Assessment of the higher order structure of Humira® Remicade® Avastin® Rituxan® Herceptin® and Enbrel® by 2D-NMR fingerprinting. Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis, 163, 144–152. doi:10.1016/j.jpba.2018.09.056