Molecular Aggregation of Marketed Recombinant FVIII Products: Biochemical Evidence and Functional Effects

Raimondo De Cristofaro, Monica Sacco, Stefano Lancellotti, Federico Berruti, Isabella Garagiola, Carla Valsecchi, Maria Basso, Enrico Di Stasio, Flora Peyvandi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background  Recombinant (rec-) coagulation factor VIII concentrates available for hemophilia A (HA) treatment differ in cell line production and structure, which could affect their pharmacodynamics and immunogenicity. Clinical trials showed that previously untreated patients with severe HA present higher rates of inhibitor development if treated with rec-FVIII products and that differences do exist as to inhibitor's formation among different rec-FVIII products. This finding could arise from several causes, such as absence of von Willebrand factor, different glycosylation profiles, or processes of molecular aggregation of the recombinant FVIII molecules. Objectives/Methods  In this study, using size exclusion high-performance liquid chromatography (SE-HPLC), dynamic light scattering (DLS) spectroscopy, and functional biochemical assays, we investigated the purity grade, FX activating ability, and aggregation status of three recombinant marketed products (Advate [Baxalta], Refacto AF [Pfizer], and Kogenate [Bayer]). Results  The overall analysis of the results obtained with SE-HPLC and DLS spectroscopy showed that the three recombinant FVIII concentrates contain low but significant amounts of molecular aggregates. This phenomenon was less evident for the Advate product. Molecular aggregation negatively affects the in vitro pharmacodynamics of the concentrates with higher aggregates' content. Conclusions  This study shows that the three pharmaceutical formulations of recombinant FVIII contain variable amounts of molecular aggregates after their reconstitution at therapeutic concentrations. This phenomenon negatively affects the in vitro potency of the products with higher aggregates' content and might be invoked as a contributing cause of their increased risk to induce the formation of FVIII inhibitors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e123-e131
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019


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