Objectives Infliximab, trastuzumab and bevacizumab are among the most frequently prescribed therapeutic proteins, and like most other therapeutic proteins, are glycosylated. As differences in glycosylation may significantly change the safety and efficacy of therapeutic glycoproteins, it is extremely important to control N-glycosylation consistency. In the first part of this study, the batch-to-batch consistency of the N-glycosylation of infliximab, trastuzumab and bevacizumab was analysed. In the second part, the consistency of the N-glycosylation of bevacizumab stored in polycarbonate syringes (for off-label drug use) for 3 months was examined.
Methods N-glycans were (i) enzymatically released using peptide-N-glycosidase F, (ii) reduced, and (iii) analysed using hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography coupled with high-resolution mass spectrometry. Mass spectrometry data were interpreted using principal component analysis combined with two-way analysis of variance and Tukey post hoc tests. The biological activity of infliximab and trastuzumab was examined using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays.
Results The results of both studies make important contributions to the field of hospital pharmacy. All batches of the studied therapeutic glycoproteins (infliximab, trastuzumab and bevacizumab) varied considerably (especially in galactosylation), while the N-glycosylation of bevacizumab remained unchanged during 3-month storage.
Conclusions Threshold values for batch-to-batch N-glycosylation variations should be established and batch-to-batch glycosylation consistency should be regularly tested. In our study, samples with significantly different N-glycosylation profiles showed no significant variations in biological activity, suggesting that the differences are probably not therapeutically significant.
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