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Bluemel, Oliver; Buecheler, Jakob W.; Rodrigues, Miguel A.; Geraldes, Vitor; Hoelzl, Georg; Bechtold-Peters, Karoline; Friess, Wolfgang (2020): Cryoconcentration and 3D Temperature Profiles During Freezing of mAb Solutions in Large-Scale PET Bottles and a Novel Scale-Down Device. In: Pharmaceutical Research, Vol. 37, No. 9, 179
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Abstract

Purpose: Small-scale models that simulate large-scale freezing of bulk drug substance of biopharmaceuticals are highly needed to define freezing and formulation parameters based on process understanding. We evaluated a novel scale-down device (SDD), which is based on a specially designed insulation cover, with respect to changes in concentration after freezing, referred to as cryoconcentration, and 3D temperature profiles. Furthermore, the effect of the initial monoclonal antibody (mAb) concentration on cryoconcentration was addressed. Methods 2 L and 125 mL bottles were utilized. Temperatures were mapped using type T thermocouples. Frozen blocks were cut and mAb and histidine concentrations were analysed by HPLC. In addition, concentration- and temperature-dependent viscosities were measured. Results 3D freezing profiles in the SDD were comparable to large-scale bottles. The SDD accurately predicted cryoconcentration of both mAb and histidine of large-scale freezing. Concentric changes in concentration were evident as well as an unforeseen diluted core at the last point to freeze. At low initial mAb concentration cryoconcentration was substantial, while high initial mAb concentration suppressed cryoconcentration almost completely. Conclusion The novel SDD gives detailed insights into large-scale freezing of mAb solutions using only a fraction of the simulated volume. It is a promising material- and cost-saving tool to understand large-scale freezing processes.