Articles in the Category ”References”

GlyCLICK® and Middle-up LC-MS Enables Robust ADC Development

Scientists at the University of Geneva and CNRS present site-specific ADCs generated using the GlyCLICK technology and an analytical middle-up LC-HRMS workflow as a potential core module for ADC development.

 

Antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) are efficient therapeutic agents that possess the cell-targeting properties of monoclonal antibodies combined with the potency of cytotoxic drugs. Early generation ADCs were predominantly obtained through non-selective conjugation methods by incorporation of a drug payload at randomly distributed sites. Such methods result in highly heterogenous subpopulations of varying antibody-drug ratio (DAR) leading to potential loss of efficacy and impaired pharmacokinetics. While alternative strategies exploring genetic engineering have emerged for conjugation at non-natural amino acids, challenges related to both production and analytical characterization persist.

 

Glycan-mediated bioconjugation using the GlyCLICK technology is an attractive option to overcome the challenges of conventional bioconjugation without the need for genetic engineering to produce custom ADCs. By utilizing a unique combination of enzymes, the conserved Fc-glycans are remodeled and site-specifically conjugated using click chemistry for ADCs carrying two payloads per antibody (DAR=2.0) having controlled drug stoichiometry and preserved immunoreactivity. In this paper, Duivelshof et al. developed a site-specific ADC by coupling trastuzumab to DM1 using the GlyCLICK technology and evaluated the quality of the conjugation process using complementary reversed phase (RPLC) and hydrophilic interaction chromatography (HILIC) coupled to high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS).

 

The trastuzumab antibody was site-specifically conjugated to DBCO-functionalized DM1 (DBCO-PEG4-Ahx-DM1) using the GlyCLICK technology. To reduce sample complexity, the antibodies were digested with FabRICATOR® (Ides) or FabALACTICA® (IgdE) and reduced for comparison of native and GlyCLICK conjugated trastuzumab at the subunit level. The complementary HILIC and RPLC workflow allowed the authors to observe the significant shift in retention between the lipophilic drug payloads on the ADC and the hydrophilic N-glycans on native trastuzumab. These results enabled the scientists to confirm site-specific conjugation at the Fc-glycans sites, while hyphenation to HRMS detection allowed accurate determination of a DAR of 2.0 for GlyCLICK conjugated trastuzumab, which was not possible at the intact ADC level.

 

Duivelshof et al., 2020. Glycan-mediated technology for obtaining homogenous site-specific conjugated antibody-drug conjugates: synthesis and analytical characterization by using complementary middle-up LC/HRMS analysis. Analytical Chemistry. doi: 10.1021/acs.analchem.0c00282

 

FabRICATOR® in complete characterization of seven therapeutic monoclonal antibodies

Monoclonal antibodies (mAb) are used in various treatments and new potential targets continue to arise. To ensure a high specificity of the antibody to the intended antigen each mAb needs to be well characterized since they are often heterogeneous. In this paper, Giorgetti et al. combined bottom-up, middle-level and intact level analysis to get the complete structure of seven mAbs with worldwide approval. For the middle-level analysis, FabRICATOR digestion followed by a reduction step was the preferred approach.

 

On-line capillary electrophoresis-electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry (CE-ESI-MS) compatible with all three levels of analysis was used for the characterization. The overall heterogeneity and high mass post-translational modifications (PTMs) were determined at the intact level. Confirming the results, the middle-level approach expanded on this with more advanced PTM data and information about the backbone structure. Finally, bottom-up analysis provided the precise location of the PTMs and the relative quantity of micro-heterogeneities in the proteoforms. However, while bottom-up data provided the most detailed information it required the most sample preparation which might lead to artifacts. The intact and middle-level analysis avoided this problem. Therefore, the research group suggested that a combination of the three levels efficiently analyzed with CE-ESI-MS was ideal for a representative, complete characterization of the structure of the mAbs.

 

For middle-level analysis the mAbs were digested with FabRICATOR yielding F(ab)’2 and Fc/2 fragments of about 100 kDa and 25 kDa. This allowed PTMs such as methionine oxidation and lysine clipping to be observed. The N-glycan profile was also determined. Reduction of the F(ab)’2 fragment to light chain (LC) and Fd fragments further reduced complexity to make small PTMs such as asparagine deamidation detectable. In addition, the speed and efficiency along with the high accuracy was appreciated by the researchers.

 

 

Giorgetti et al., 2020. Combination of intact, middle-up and bottom-up levels to characterize 7 therapeutic monoclonal antibodies by capillary electrophoresis – Mass spectrometry.  Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis. 2020, 182, 113107. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpba.2020.113107

IgGZERO® used to determine the core fucosylation of antibodies in bioprocess

Scientists at NIBRT in Dublin together with scientists at the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, have investigated the effect of two different methods to control the level of fucosylation of a model antibody during expression in CHO cells.

 

Production of biopharmaceuticals in mammalian cells requires that critical quality attributes are controlled for safety and therapeutic efficacy. The efficacy of an IgG antibody for cancer immunotherapy is dependent on its ability to elicit effector functions such as antibody-dependent cell cytotoxcicity (ADCC). The absence of fucose on the core GlcNAc of the Fc glycan in the antibody increases the ADCC and hence there is a desire to control the level of fucosylation during the manufacturing process.

 

The model antibody investigated in this work was a camelid heavy-chain human Fc fusion of about 80 kDa in size. During expression of the antibody in CHO cells, two factors were were evaluated: the effect of adding a fucosyltransferase inhibitor and the impact of overexpression of a gene that deflects the fucose de novo pathway to a dead-end. The antibodies were harvested from the cell culture supernatant by a protein A column. The N-glycans of the antibodies were then released using PNGaseF, labelled with 2-AB and analyzed by HILIC-HPLC. The fucosylation pattern of the antibodies was identified by electrospray ionization mass spectroscopy (ESI-MS) of the intact control antibody after treatment with IgGZERO (EndoS). Hydrolysis with IgGZERO results in three possible antibody variants with two, one or no fucose per antibody. Since IgGZERO specifically removes the Fc glycans leaving the core GlcNAc (+/- fucose), the observed shift in mass of -146 Da and -292 Da revealed antibody species where one or two fucoses were missing. Using this approach, it was shown that the inhibitor for fucosyltransferase decreased the addition of fucose on the inner GlcNAc during the expression of the antibody in a concentration dependent manner.

 

By combining data from the released glycan analysis with the mass data of intact antibody after IgGZERO treatment, crucial information about the glycan profile and fucosylation pattern was revealed and evaluated to support the bioprocess design.

 

 

IgGZERO® Turns a Toxic Antibody into a Novel Treatment for Sepsis

April 16, 2020 | Applications, References |

Genovis SmartEnzyme IgGZERO was used in this recent study by researches from the University of Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia Children’s Hospital.

 

Sepsis is a dysregulated immune response to an infection that leads to very high levels of inflammation resulting in tissue damage and potential for multiorgan failure. It therefore leads to a high rate of mortality and morbidity. Neutrophil extracellular traps are part of the innate immune systems defence against infections where neutrophils rupture and release DNA, histones and many antimicrobial proteins. This however comes at a cost as NETs are degraded by circulating DNase and toxic degradation products are formed.

 

In a recent study published in Blood, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia Childrens Hosptial used a monoclonal antibody that binds to NETs to stabilize the traps, therefore significantly reducing the collateral tissue damage induced by NET degradation products. However, the mAb also activated the complement system and platelets, therefore negating the positive effect of NET stabilization. Using IgGZERO, the authors were able to remove the Fc glycosylation from their mAb, thereby impairing its ability to elicit an immune response. The deglycosylated mAb was still able to stabilize NETs and its administration lead to a significantly improved outcome in a murine sepsis model.

 

Fc glycosylation is a major determinant for which effector functions a monoclonal antibody is able to elicit and therefore its mode of action. Genovis IgG-specific endoglycosidases (GlycINATOR and IgGZERO) provide an easy way to remove the Fc glycans from mAbs.

 

Gollomp et al, 2020. Fc-modified HIT-like monoclonal antibody as a novel treatment for sepsis. Blood, 135(10), 743–754. doi:10.1182/blood.2019002329 

 

Investigating IgG Delivery Across the Blood-Brain Barrier with GlycINATOR®

Scientists from the University of Delaware demonstrate the use of GlycINATOR for studying transcytosis of IgG in an in vitro model of the blood-brain barrier.
 

Brain endothelial cells (BECs) are important structural components of the blood-brain barrier with a unique physiology that restricts permeability of blood-borne molecules such as therapeutic antibodies to the brain. The neonatal fragment crystalline receptor (FcRn) is known to mediate IgG recycling and transcytosis in peripheral epithelium, but the role of FcRn in transcytosis of antibodies in BECs remains uncertain.
 

In this paper, Ruano-Salguero and Lee study the role of FcRn in transcytosis of IgG across the blood-brain barrier in BEC-like cells (iBECs) derived from induced human pluripotent stem cells. Using microscopy-based methods, different antibody species and subunits were compared to investigate the role of FcRn on transcytosis of IgG. To specifically determine the impact of Fc-glycosylation on permeability, all glycoforms on human IgG1 was removed using the GlycINATOR enzyme and the deglycosylated antibodies analyzed in iBECs using live-cell microscopy. Finally, the authors also investigated the impact of biophysical properties such as charge and size on transcytosis mechanisms.
 

Using the in vitro blood-brain barrier model, the scientists found that FcRn mediates both recycling and reduced lysosomal accumulation of IgG in iBECs. Transcytosis of antibodies across the in vitro blood-brain barrier exhibited non receptor-medicated mechanisms that were unaffected by human FcRn-binding motifs and Fc-glycoforms as demonstrated by the different species and deglycosylated human IgG1. Investigations of intracellular trafficking by FcRn binding or other IgG-specific mechanisms were further observed to be non-saturable, indicating fluid-phase permeability. Interestingly, the authors found that biophysical changes enhanced permeability of molecules with positively charged isoelectric points. These results highlight the potential for use of in vitro models as well as characterization and modification of biophysical properties to improve therapeutic delivery to the brain.
 

Deglycosylation of IgG using the GlycINATOR enzyme decreases binding to Fc-receptors (FcRs) enabling bifunctional assays to study glycan-mediated interactions such as ADCC activity. The binding to FcRn is however preserved with GlycINATOR, allowing recycling and increased circulation in vivo of deglycosylated IgG and GlyCLICK conjugated ADCs.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ruano-Salguero and Lee, 2020. Antibody transcytosis across brain endothelial-like cells occurs nonspecifically and independent of FcRn. Sci Rep 10, 3685. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-60438-z

 

Fully automated 3D LC-MS workflow for the characterization of antibody glycosylation

March 19, 2020 | References |

Genentech used FabRICATOR®-HPLC to develop a fast and automated 3D LC-MS workflow for the characterization of glycosylation on therapeutic antibodies.

 

The glycosylation profile is a critical quality attribute of biopharmaceuticals including antibodies. This heterogenous quality attribute can be tackled using a range of different analytical technologies including separation of released glycans , intact glycoprotein mass analysis, subunit mass analysis and many more. An antibody subunit approach using FabRICATOR (IdeS) combined with separation on hydrophilic interaction chromatography (HILIC) offers a promising strategy for characterization of IgG glycosylation. Typically, the FabRICATOR digestion is done manually, offline, prior to LC-MS. In a growing number of cases, like online monitoring of glycosylation, it is desirable to automate such a workflow.

 

Researchers at Genentech in collaboration with University of Geneva recently published an automated workflow using three dimensional separation coupled to mass spectrometry. To automate the workflow, they employed the FabRICATOR-HPLC column to deliver online antibody subunit generation. In their setup, this was followed by on column reduction and separation of the subunits using a reversed phase column, coupled to HILIC column to separate the Fc/2 glycoforms. In summary, the system incorporated three columns controlled by two valves: FabRICATOR-HPLC x Reduction/RPLC x HILIC/MS (Fig. 1 below).

 

Camperi et al. compared their automated workflow to the standard manual digestion by testing two of their candidate mAbs. The authors concluded that the 3D automated workflow, which took 95 minutes per sample, could deliver comparable data for all N-glycan variants for the Fc/2 subunit and therefore could be applied to the analysis of not only mAbs but also antibody drug conjugated (ADCs) and bispecific antibodies. Finally, the scientists emphasize that the key strength of the 3D approach was not just the automation aspect but also the fact that no tedious sample preparation was required, and that it is applicable to routine analysis tasks.
 


Fig 1. 3D-LC Workflow for automated middle-up analysis of mAbs (Camperi et al., 2020.)
 

Camperi et al., 2020. Development of a 3D–LC/MS workflow for fast, automated and effective characterization of glycosylation patterns of biotherapeutic products. Anal. Chem. 2020, 92, 6, 4357-4363. doi:10.1021/acs.analchem.9b05193

FabRICATOR® presents F(ab’)2 PET-tracers for Prognostic Imaging

March 18, 2020 | References |

Scientists at Minerva Imaging demonstrate the use of FabRICATOR® to generate a 64Cu-labeled F(ab’)2 PET-tracer for the detection of changes in T Cell response to combined radiation and immunoblockade therapy.
 

Current immunotherapy response-evaluation criteria are limited in discriminating responsive patients eligible for immunotherapy from non-responders. Accurate evaluations of progression are limited by pseudo-progression, a phenomenon where therapy-induced inflammatory events temporarily increase tumor volume, thereby delaying evidence of response. Routine and standardized clinical evaluations are needed that require predictive biomarkers combined with reproducible methods for monitoring biomarker expression and dynamics.
 

Targeting T cells as essential players in the anti-tumor immune response, Kristensen et al. developed a 64Cu-labeled F(ab’)2 against murine CD8a+ T cells. The scientists further demonstrate its potential as a prognostic PET-imaging biomarker

for immunotherapy response in mouse models of colorectal cancer. Rat anti-mouse CD8a antibodies were digested using the FabRICATOR enzyme to generate homogenous F(ab’)2 and Fc/2 subunits. Purification by preparative HPLC yielded isolated F(ab’)2 subunits for random chelation with p-SCN-Bn-NOTA and radiolabeling using the 64Cu isotope. Treatment response assessment was conducted using in vivo PET-imaging of tumor-bearing mice subjected to combined radiation and anti-CTLA-4 therapy.
 

The scientists found that the tumor-to-heart ratio of the PET-tracer increased with combined therapy, this was also confirmed by flow cytometry and IHC analysis showing increased tumor infiltration by CD8+ T cells. The prognostic value of the PET-tracer was further demonstrated using in vivo imaging as the scientists were able to distinguish responsive mice from non-responders prior to treatment-induced variations in tumor volume.
 

Kristensen et al., 2020. Monitoring CD8+ T Cell Responses to Radiotherapy and CTLA-4 Blockade Using [64Cu]NOTA-CD8a PET imaging. Mol Imaging Biol (2020).

 

ADC Biotransformation Analysis using FabRICATOR and LC-MS

March 11, 2020 | References |

Current strategies for analyzing in vivo biotransformation of antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) are limited by the site of conjugation, extensive sample preparation and insufficient sensitivity. In this paper by Kotapati et al., the authors developed a universal affinity capture method for assessing the effects of biotransformation on any site-specific ADC using generic reagents and LC-HRMS analysis.

 

Antibody-Drug Conjugates (ADCs) can undergo in vivo biotransformation where the payload can be metabolized to an inactive species or be subjected to deconjugation releasing the payload into systemic circulation. Strategically selected conjugation sites can minimize proteolytic cleavage or steric hindrance of the surrounding mAb domains, ultimately improving the potency and stability in vivo. The process of screening for optimal conjugation sites is therefore an important part of ADC discovery and development.

 

ADCs prepared from various antibodies and payloads with site-specific conjugation sites at the LC, HC-Fab and HC-Fc were prepared and analyzed using a mono- or dual affinity capture method. Streptavidin magnetic beads coated with anti-human F(ab’)2 captured ADCs from mouse serum and were processed on a KingFisher Flex automated magnetic extraction instrument. The captured ADCs were then, according to conjugation site, either subjected to reduction, on-bead digestion with only the FabRICATOR enzyme or in combination with PNGaseF for complete Fc-deglycosylation. The samples were then either reduced or eluted directly for analysis using high resolution LC-TOF mass spectrometer.

 

With this method, the authors were able to successfully study biotransformation of site-specific ADCs independent of antibody type, conjugation type or linker-payload chemistry. Using the site-specific FabRICATOR enzyme, HC-Fab and HC-Fc ADCs were digested below the hinge into homogenous F(ab’)2 and Fc subunits for the generation of antibody fragments. Compared to intact ADC analysis, this middle-level approach increased the resolution and sensitivity for identification of the conjugated payload and its metabolites at exceptional sensitivity and resolution.

 

Kotapati et al., 2020. Universal Affinity Capture Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry Assay for Evaluation of Biotransformation of Site-Specific Antibody Drug Conjugates in Preclinical Studies. Analytical Chemistry (92). pp. 2065-2073. doi: 10.1021/acs.analchem.9b04572

 

GlyCLICK PET-tracers in Quantitative Imaging to Predict Immunotherapy Response

February 26, 2020 | References |

Scientists at Minerva Imaging demonstrate the potential of site-specific immuno-PET tracers as early identifiers of immune response activation using in vivo imaging. 

 

The programmed cell death protein (PD-1) on immune cells and its corresponding tumor-associated ligand (PD-L1) have emerged as effective targets for immunocheckpoint therapy. To date, the selection of patients eligible for PD-L1 blockade therapy and response rate monitoring is guided by immunohistochemistry of randomly sampled biopsies. This method is not only invasive and prone to errors, but also poorly reflects the heterogeneity and potential metastasis of the tumor.

 

Immunoimaging using PET-tracers is an attractive option to overcome these challenges since it provides a more comprehensive portrayal of the tumor and its temporal dynamics in vivo. In this study, Christensen et al. developed a site-specifically labeled immuno-PET tracer using a GlyCLICK-conjugated anti-PD-L1 antibody. The PET-tracer was used for quantitative detection of PD-L1 expression in order to non-invasively monitor radiotherapy-induced changes and demonstrate the predictive value of such tracers prior to PD-L1 blockade immunotherapy.

 

The anti-PD-L1 antibody was site-specifically conjugated with DIBO-functionalized DFO chelators using the GlyCLICK technology. Chelated conjugates were then radiolabeled with 89Zr to generate PET-tracers carrying two radioisotopes per antibody (DOL=2). Comparing conjugation strategies, the authors found that the GlyCLICK-conjugated antibodies displayed higher immuno-reactivity, stability and affinity compared to random conjugates. In vivo PET imaging and ex vivo biodistribution showed clear PD-L1-specificity of the GlyCLICK-tracers that allowed for the detection of different PD-L1 expression levels among mouse models of human and murine cancer. Importantly, the authors were also able to monitor therapy-induced changes of syngenetic mouse models in a combination study using XRT and anti-PD-L1 therapy. The tumor-to-muscle ratio of GlyCLICK-tracers enabled the scientists to obtain results predictive of response to PD-L1 immunocheckpoint inhibition.

 

Christensen et al., 2019. Quantitative PET imaging of PD-L1 expression in xenograft and syngeneic tumour models using a site-specifically labelled PD-L1 antibody. Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging. doi: 10,1007/s00259-019-04646-4

 

Learn more about how GlyCLICK works by watching the GlyCLICK Movie.

 

Read more about GlyCLICK on the Product page or download our GlyCLICK Poster

 

 

 

 

 

SmartEnzymes™ in Quality Control of Commercial Antibodies

In a recent paper, Sokolowska and colleagues at Janssen Research and Development qualified and covalidated a subunit LC-MS method for quality control and stability testing of the oxidation status of commercial antibodies.

 

LC-MS is commonly used for therapeutic antibody development and characterization within the biopharmaceutical industry due to the inherent strengths to provide site-specific identification and quantitation of post-translational modifications. However, the implementation of LC-MS methods to commercial QC labs is challenging, since there are not many options for fully GMP compliant systems. In addition, the methods often require extensive MS expertise and suffer from time-consuming sample preparation and lack of robustness. To counter these obstacles, Sokolowska et al. have developed an LC-MS method that requires minimum analyst training. It uses validated GMP compliant software and is based on subunit analysis, which is proved to be faster and more robust compared to peptide mapping.

 

The assay uses FabRICATOR® (IdeS) and  IgGZERO® (EndoS) enzymes to generate deglycosylated IgG subunits suitable for MS analysis. FabRICATOR digests the antibody below the hinge and IgGZERO hydrolyzes the Fc N-glycans. The subunits are analyzed using reversed phase-ultraperformance liquid chromatography coupled to a quadrupole time-of-flight (RP-UPLC-QTOF) MS to monitor antibody oxidation for stability testing and commercial product release.

 

The developed subunit LC-MS assay was covalidated in three laboratories and showed comparable performance. The robustness was tested by varying both the LC-MS settings and the sample preparation. The enzymatic conditions included variations in protein concentration, enzyme lots, enzyme-to-protein ratio, digestion time and temperature, reduction time and temperature, and reagent concentrations. Minor variations in sample preparation all led to measured Fc oxidation within the method variation +/- 0.9%.

 

Figure 1. mAb subunit oxidation assay using FabRICATOR and IgGZERO (Sokolowska et al., 2020.)

The approval of this method opens the door for implementing other subunit LC-MS and multiattribute methods in QC laboratories to modernize commercial QC and stability testing.

 

Learn more by reading the full paper, follow the link below.

https://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/acs.analchem.9b05036