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A single molecular descriptor to predict solution behavior of therapeutic antibodies

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Science Advances  05 Aug 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 32, eabb0372
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abb0372

Abstract

Despite the therapeutic success of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), early identification of developable mAb drug candidates with optimal manufacturability, stability, and delivery attributes remains elusive. Poor solution behavior, which manifests as high solution viscosity or opalescence, profoundly affects the developability of mAb drugs. Using a diverse dataset of 59 mAbs, including 43 approved products, and an array of molecular descriptors spanning colloidal, conformational, charge-based, hydrodynamic, and hydrophobic properties, we show that poor solution behavior is prevalent (>30%) in mAbs and is singularly predicted (>90%) by the diffusion interaction parameter (kD), a dilute-solution measure of colloidal self-interaction. No other descriptor, individually or in combination, was found to be as effective as kD. We also show that well-behaved mAbs, a substantial subset of which bear high positive charge and pI, present no disadvantages with respect to pharmacokinetics in humans. Here, we provide a systematic framework with quantitative thresholds for selecting well-behaved therapeutic mAbs during drug discovery.

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