Use of In Vitro Assays to Assess Immunogenicity Risk of Antibody-Based Biotherapeutics

Authors: Marisa K. Joubert, Meghana Deshpande, Jane Yang, Helen Reynolds, Christine Bryson, Mark Fogg, Matthew P. Baker, Jonathan Herskovitz, Theresa J. Goletz, Lei Zhou, Michael Moxness, Gregory C. Flynn, Linda O. Narhi, Vibha Jawa

Publication: PLoS One

First published: 5 August 2016

An In Vitro Comparative Immunogenicity Assessment (IVCIA) assay was evaluated as a tool for predicting the potential relative immunogenicity of biotherapeutic attributes. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells from up to 50 healthy naïve human donors were monitored up to 8 days for T-cell proliferation, the number of IL-2 or IFN-γ secreting cells, and the concentration of a panel of secreted cytokines. The response in the assay to 10 monoclonal antibodies was found to be in agreement with the clinical immunogenicity, suggesting that the assay might be applied to immunogenicity risk assessment of antibody biotherapeutic attributes. However, the response in the assay is a measure of T-cell functional activity and the alignment with clinical immunogenicity depends on several other factors. The assay was sensitive to sequence variants and could differentiate single point mutations of the same biotherapeutic. Nine mAbs that were highly aggregated by stirring induced a higher response in the assay than the original mAbs before stirring stress, in a manner that did not match the relative T-cell response of the original mAbs. In contrast, mAbs that were glycated by different sugars (galactose, glucose, and mannose) showed little to no increase in response in the assay above the response to the original mAbs before glycation treatment. The assay was also used successfully to assess similarity between multiple lots of the same mAb, both from the same manufacturer and from different manufacturers (biosimilars). A strategy for using the IVCIA assay for immunogenicity risk assessment during the entire lifespan development of biopharmaceuticals is proposed.

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