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Anal Chem. 2008 Feb 15;80(4):1290-6. doi: 10.1021/ac702115b. Epub 2008 Jan 25.

Absolute quantification of monoclonal antibodies in biofluids by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry.

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BioAnalytical Sciences, Discovery Technologies, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, Novartis, Basel, Switzerland.


The development of a quantification method for monoclonal antibodies in serum has been accomplished by high-performance liquid chromatography multiple reactions monitoring mass spectrometry. A human monoclonal antibody (HmAb) was used as the model protein for method development and validation. A peptide from the CDR3-region of its heavy chain was selected and used for quantifying the entire mAb. This signature peptide served as a template for the internal standard. Prior to mass spectrometric analysis approximately 50% of the total serum protein content was removed by albumin depletion. The accuracy of the method ranged between 99 and 112% in cynomolgus monkey serum. The intra-assay coefficient of variation (CV) was lower than 4% at 4 microg/mL and 200 microg/mL HmAb (n = 3). The CV at 400 microg/mL corresponded to 9% (n = 3). In addition, the interassay variation was investigated in a male cynomolgus serum pool and in a female cynomolgus serum pool. The CV for the male cynomolgus pool at 4 microg/mL HmAb was 7% (n = 3). The CV obtained from the female pool was 8% (n = 3), at 4 microg/mL. The dynamic range of the method was 3 orders of magnitude. After albumin depletion of 25 microL of serum, a lowest limit of quantification of 2 microg/mL HmAb was reached in both human and cynomolgus monkey samples.

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