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Nonspecificity fingerprints for clinical-stage antibodies in solution.

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Invernizzi, Gaetano 
Ausserwöger, Hannes  ORCID logo
Bjelke, Jais Rose 
Egebjerg, Thomas 


Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) have successfully been developed for the treatment of a wide range of diseases. The clinical success of mAbs does not solely rely on optimal potency and safety but also require good biophysical properties to ensure a high developability potential. In particular, nonspecific interactions are a key developability parameter to monitor during discovery and development. Despite an increased focus on the detection of nonspecific interactions, their underlying physicochemical origins remain poorly understood. Here, we employ solution-based microfluidic technologies to characterize a set of clinical-stage mAbs and their interactions with commonly used nonspecificity ligands to generate nonspecificity fingerprints, providing quantitative data on the underlying physical chemistry. Furthermore, the solution-based analysis enables us to measure binding affinities directly, and we evaluate the contribution of avidity in nonspecific binding by mAbs. We find that avidity can increase the apparent affinity by two orders of magnitude. Notably, we find that a subset of these highly developed mAbs show nonspecific electrostatic interactions, even at physiological pH and ionic strength, and that they can form microscale particles with charge-complementary polymers. The group of mAb constructs flagged here for nonspecificity are among the worst performers in independent reports of surface and column-based screens. The solution measurements improve on the state-of-the-art by providing a stand-alone result for individual mAbs without the need to benchmark against cohort data. Based on our findings, we propose a quantitative solution-based nonspecificity score, which can be integrated in the development workflow for biological therapeutics and more widely in protein engineering.



drug development, microfluidics, monoclonal antibodies, nonspecific interactions, Humans, Antibodies, Monoclonal, Protein Engineering

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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A

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Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences