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Real‐time monitoring of antibody glycosylation site occupancy by in situ Raman spectroscopy during bioreactor CHO cell cultures

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The glycosylation of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), a known critical quality attribute, is often greatly modified during the production process by animal cells. It is essential for biopharmaceutical industries to monitor and control this glycosylation. However, current glycosylation characterization techniques involve time‐ and labor‐intensive analyses, often carried out at the end of the culture when the product is already synthesized. This study proposes a novel methodology for real‐time monitoring of antibody glycosylation site occupancy using Raman spectroscopy. It was first observed in CHO cell batch culture that when low nutrient concentrations were reached, a decrease in mAb glycosylation was induced, which made it essential to rapidly detect this loss of product quality. By combining in situ Raman spectroscopy with chemometric tools, efficient prediction models were then developed for both glycosylated and nonglycosylated mAbs. By comparing variable importance in projection profiles of the prediction models, it was confirmed that Raman spectroscopy is a powerful method to distinguish extremely similar molecules, despite the high complexity of the culture medium. Finally, the Raman prediction models were used to monitor batch and feed‐harvest cultures in situ. For the first time, it was demonstrated that the concentrations of glycosylated and nonglycosylated mAbs could be successfully and simultaneously estimated in real time with high accuracy, including their sudden variations due to medium exchanges. Raman spectroscopy can thus be considered as a promising PAT tool for feedback process control dedicated to on‐line optimization of mAb quality. © 2018 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Biotechnol. Prog., 34:486–493, 2018
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Keywords: glycosylation; in situ Raman spectroscopy; process analytical technology; real‐time monitoring; recombinant antibody

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2018

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