J Pharm Sci 2019 Apr 17. Epub 2019 Apr 17.
Standardisation Science Section, Analytical and Biological Sciences Division, National Institute for Biological Standards and Control, Blanche Lane, Medicines & Healthcare Products Agency, South Mimms, Potters Bar, Hertfordshire EN6 3QG, UK. Electronic address:
In the present work, the effect of controlled nucleation on the stability of human growth hormone (hGH) during freeze-drying has been investigated. More specifically, the vacuum-induced surface freezing technique has been compared to conventional freezing, both with and without an annealing step. Size exclusion chromatography and cell-based potency assays have been used to characterize the formation of soluble aggregates and the biological activity of hGH, respectively. The results obtained indicate that controlled nucleation has a positive effect on both cycle performance and product homogeneity because of the formation of bigger ice crystals, and characterized by a narrower dimensional distribution. From the point of view of hGH stability, we observed that vacuum-induced surface freezing is not detrimental to the biological activity of the protein, or aggregate formation. In addition, the effect of 2 different formulations, including trehalose or cellobiose, on protein preservation was also considered for this study.