Stress Factors in Protein Drug Product Manufacturing and Their Impact on Product Quality

Tapan K.Da, Alavattam Sreedhara, James D. Colandene, Danny K. Chou, Vasco Filipe, Christoph Grapentin, Jim Searles, Twinkle R. Christian, Linda O. Narhi and Wim Jiskoot

Injectable protein-based medicinal products (drug products, or DPs) must be produced by using sterile manufacturing processes to ensure product safety. In DP manufacturing the protein drug substance, in a suitable final formulation, is combined with the desired primary packaging (e.g., syringe, cartridge, or vial) that guarantees product integrity and enables transportation, storage, handling and clinical administration. The protein DP is exposed to several stress conditions during each of the unit operations in DP manufacturing, some of which can be detrimental to product quality. For example, particles, aggregates and chemically-modified proteins can form during manufacturing, and excessive amounts of these undesired variants might cause an impact on potency or immunogenicity. Therefore, DP manufacturing process development should include identification of critical quality attributes (CQAs) and comprehensive risk assessment of potential protein modifications in process steps, and the relevant steps must be characterized and controlled. In this commentary article we focus on the major unit operations in protein DP manufacturing, and critically evaluate each process step for stress factors involved and their potential effects on DP CQAs. Moreover, we discuss the current industry trends for risk mitigation, process control, including analytical monitoring, and recommendations for formulation and process development studies, including scaled-down runs.

In Memoriam of Wim Jiskoot - a colleague, friend, and contributor to this manuscript who passed away during the journal peer-review phase


Critical quality attribute, Foreign particle, Formulation, Leachable, Lyophilization, Manufacturing stress, Mixing, Primary packaging, Protein stability, Shelf life, Sterile process

J Pharm Sci. 2021 Oct.

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