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A CFD model for predicting protein aggregation in low-pH virial inactivation for mAb production
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  • Zizhuo Xing,
  • Weixin Jin,
  • Xuankuo Xu,
  • Yuanli Song,
  • Chao Huang,
  • Michael Borys,
  • Sanchayita Ghose,
  • Zheng Jian Li
Zizhuo Xing
Bristol-Myers Squibb Company
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Weixin Jin
Bristol-Myers Squibb Company
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Xuankuo Xu
Bristol-Myers Squibb
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Yuanli Song
Bristol-Myers Squibb Co
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Chao Huang
Bristol-Myers Squibb Company
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Michael Borys
Bristol-Myers Squibb Company
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Sanchayita Ghose
Bristol Myers Squibb
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Zheng Jian Li
Bristol-Myers Squibb Company
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Abstract

Significant amounts of soluble product aggregates were observed in the low-pH viral inactivation (VI) opertion during an initial scale-up run for an IgG4 monoclonal antibody (mAb IgG4-N1). Being earlier in development, a scale-down model did not exist, nor was it practical to use costly Protein A eluate (PAE) for testing the VI process at scale, thus, a computational fluid dynamics (CFD)-based high molecular weight (HMW) prediction model was developed for troubleshooting and risk mitigation. It was previously reported that the IgG4-N1 molecules upon exposure to low pH tend to change into transient and partially unfolded monomers during VI acidification (i.e., VIA) and form aggregates after neutralization (i.e., VIN) (Jin et al. 2019). Therefore, the CFD model reported here focuses on the VIA step. The model mimics the continuous addition of acid to PAE and tracks acid distribution during VIA. Based on the simulated low-pH zone (≤ pH 3.3) profiles and PAE properties, the integrated low-pH zone (ILPZ) value was obtained to predict HMW level at the VI step. The simulations were performed to examine the operating parameters, such as agitation speed, acid addition rate, and protein concentration of PAE, of the pilot scale (50-200L) runs. The conditions with predictions of no product aggregation risk were recommended to the real scale-up runs, resulted in 100% success rate of the consecutive 12 pilot-scale runs. This work demonstrated that the CFD-based HMW prediction model could be used as a tool to facilitate the scale up of the low-pH VI process directly from bench to pilot/production scale.

Peer review status:ACCEPTED

24 Jan 2020Submitted to Biotechnology and Bioengineering
28 Jan 2020Submission Checks Completed
28 Jan 2020Assigned to Editor
25 Feb 2020Reviewer(s) Assigned
16 Jun 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
16 Jun 2020Editorial Decision: Revise Major
26 Jun 20201st Revision Received
27 Jun 2020Submission Checks Completed
27 Jun 2020Assigned to Editor
09 Jul 2020Reviewer(s) Assigned
15 Jul 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
15 Jul 2020Editorial Decision: Accept