Effect of freezing rates and excipients on the infectivity of a live viral vaccine during lyophilization
Effect of freezing rates and excipients on the infectivity of a live viral vaccine during lyophilization
Jul-Aug 2004
By: Zhai S, Hansen RK, Taylor R, Skepper JN, Sanches R, Slater NK - Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Cambridge, Pembroke Street, Cambridge CB2 3RA, United Kingdom
Lyophilization is the most popular method for achieving improved stability of labile biopharmaceuticals, but a significant fraction of product activity can be lost during processing due to stresses that occur in both the freezing and the drying stages. The effect of the freezing rate on the recovery of herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2) infectivity in the presence of varying concentrations of cryoprotectant excipients is reported here. The freezing conditions investigated were shelf cooling (223 K), quenching into slush nitrogen (SN2), and plunging into melting propane cooled in liquid nitrogen (LN2). The corresponding freezing rates were measured, and the ice crystal sizes formed within the samples were determined using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The viral activity assay demonstrated the highest viral titer recovery for nitrogen cooling in the presence of low (0.25% w/v sucrose) excipient concentration. The loss of viral titer in the sample cooled by melting propane was consistently the highest among those results from the alternative cooling methods. However, this loss could be minimized by lyophilization at lower temperature and higher vacuum conditions. We suggest that this is due to a higher ratio of ice recrystallization for the sample cooled by melting propane during warming to the temperature at which freeze-drying was carried out, as smaller ice crystals readily enlarge during warming. Under the same freezing condition, a higher viral titer recovery was obtained with a formulation containing a higher concentration of sugar excipients. The reason was thought to be twofold. First, sugars stabilize membranes and proteins by hydrogen bonding to the polar residues of the biomolecules, working as a water substitute. Second, the concentrated sugar solution lowers the nucleation temperature of the water inside the virus membrane and prevents large ice crystal formation within both the virus and the external medium.
Note: The full document can be ordered by visiting the PubMed website.
Comments: 0