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J Pharm Biomed Anal. 2010 Nov 2;53(3):262-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jpba.2010.02.006. Epub 2010 Feb 12.

Correlation of liquid chromatographic and biological assay for potency assessment of filgrastim and related impurities.

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Hospira Zagreb doo, Prilaz Baruna Filipovica 27/D, 10 000 Zagreb, Croatia.


In vivo and in vitro potency assays have always been a critical tool for confirmation of protein activity. However, due to their complexity and time consuming procedures, it remains a challenge to find an alternative analytical approach that would enable their replacement with no impact on the quality of provided information. The goal of this research was to determine if a correlation between liquid chromatography assays and in vitro biological assay could be established for filgrastim (recombinant human granulocyte-colony stimulating factor, rhG-CSF) samples containing various amounts of related impurities. For that purpose, relevant filgrastim related impurities were purified to homogeneity and characterized by liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry. A significant correlation (R(2)>0.90) between the two types of assays was revealed. Potency of oxidized filgrastim was determined to be approximately 25% of filgrastim stated potency (1 x 10(8)IU/mg of protein). Formyl-methionine filgrastim had potency of 89% of the filgrastim stated potency, while filgrastim dimer had 67% of filgrastim stated potency. A mathematical model for the estimation of biological activity of filgrastim samples from chromatography data was established and a significant correlation between experimental potency values and potency values estimated by the mathematical model was obtained (R(2)=0.92). Based on these results a conclusion was made that reversed phase high performance liquid chromatography could be used as an alternative for the in vitro biological assay for potency assessment of filgrastim samples. Such an alternative model would enable substitution of a complex and time consuming biological assay with a robust and precise instrumental method in many practical cases.

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