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MAbs. 2017 Oct;9(7):1065-1075. doi: 10.1080/19420862.2017.1349586. Epub 2017 Jul 14.

ELISA reagent coverage evaluation by affinity purification tandem mass spectrometry.

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a Seattle Genetics, Inc. , Bothell , WA , USA.


Host cell proteins (HCPs) must be adequately removed from recombinant therapeutics by downstream processing to ensure patient safety, product quality, and regulatory compliance. HCP process clearance is typically monitored by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using a polyclonal reagent. Recently, mass spectrometry (MS) has been used to identify specific HCP process impurities and monitor their clearance. Despite this capability, ELISA remains the preferred analytical approach due to its simplicity and throughput. There are, however, inherent difficulties reconciling the protein-centric results of MS characterization with ELISA, or providing assurance that ELISA has acceptable coverage against all process-specific HCP impurities that could pose safety or efficacy risks. Here, we describe efficient determination of ELISA reagent coverage by proteomic analysis following affinity purification with a polyclonal anti-HCP reagent (AP-MS). The resulting HCP identifications can be compared with the actual downstream process impurities for a given process to enable a highly focused assessment of ELISA reagent suitability. We illustrate the utility of this approach by performing coverage evaluation of an anti-HCP polyclonal against both an HCP immunogen and the downstream HCP impurities identified in a therapeutic monoclonal antibody after Protein A purification. The overall goal is to strategically implement affinity-based mass spectrometry as part of a holistic framework for evaluating HCP process clearance, ELISA reagent coverage, and process clearance risks. We envision coverage analysis by AP-MS will further enable a framework for HCP impurity analysis driven by characterization of actual product-specific process impurities, complimenting analytical methods centered on consideration of the total host cell proteome.


Affinity purification; ELISA coverage; HCP; MS; immunoprecipitation; mass spectrometry

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