Analytical Sciences

Abstract − Analytical Sciences, 37(8), 1171 (2021).

In-situ Reverse Phased HPLC Analysis of Intact Antibody-Drug Conjugates
Yutaka MATSUDA,* Monica LEUNG,** Zhala TAWFIQ,** Tomohiro FUJII,** and Brian A. MENDELSOHN**
*Ajinomoto Co., Inc., 1-1 Suzuki-cho, Kawasaki, Kawasaki, Kanagawa 210-8681, Japan
**Ajinomoto Bio-Pharma Services, 11040 Roselle Street, San Diego, CA 92121, United States
The field of oncology has recently seen an exponential growth in antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) as a biopharmaceutical class with seven ADCs being launched onto the market in the last ten years. Despite the increase in the industrial research and development of these compounds, their structural complexity and heterogeneity continue to present various challenges regarding their analysis including reaction monitoring. Robust and simple reaction monitoring analysis are in demand in the view of at-line in-process monitoring, and can instill control, confidence and reliability in the ADC manufacturing process. Aiming at providing chromatographic methods for conjugation monitoring, we evaluated herein the potential of utilizing reverse phase HPLC analysis, without sample pretreatment, for characterization of traditional cysteine-based ADCs. This analysis can be used for estimation of drug antibody ratio (DAR), which has shown the same trends and results as other well-established HPLC techniques. This methodology was also applied to three ADCs derived from three different antibodies. Additionally, we analyzed unpurified ADC samples existing in a complex reaction matrix and separated ADC species and payload compounds. This investigation was conducted using three different ADCs based on different payloads. The results described herein indicate the potential application of this RP-HPLC methodology in reaction monitoring studies.