Lyophilization cycle design for highly concentrated protein formulations supported by micro freeze-dryer and heat flux sensor

Marco Carfagna, Monica Rosa, Andrea Hawe, Wolfgang Frieß

High-concentration protein formulations (HCPFs) represent a common strategy and freeze-drying can mitigate the stability challenges of HCPFs. In general, an in-depth characterization of the lyophilization process is essential to not impair the product quality by inappropriate process parameters. The aim of this study was to create a primary drying design space for lyophilized HCPFs by utilizing the heat flux sensor (HFS) integrated in a MicroFD with a minimum number of cycles and product vials. All the necessary data to obtain the design space were determined starting from only two lyophilization cycles, each holding 19 vials. The vial heat transfer coefficient (Kv) was determined by the HFS and compared to gravimetric values. The results indicate a consistant offset between the HFS and the gravimetry based values for annealed samples with higher protein content. This work highlights a possibility of integrating new technologies, the HFS and the MicroFD to generate a design space for lyophilization of HCPFs, which enables to implement a QbD approach at minimal material and time investment.

International Journal of Pharmaceutics

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