Susceptibility of methionine to oxidation is an important concern for chemical stability during the development of a monoclonal antibody (mAb) therapeutic. To minimize downstream risks, leading candidates are usually screened under forced oxidation conditions to identify oxidation-labile molecules. Here we report results of forced oxidation on a large set of in-house expressed and purified mAbs with variable region sequences corresponding to 121 clinical stage mAbs. These mAb samples were treated with 0.1% H2O2 for 24 hours before enzymatic cleavage below the hinge, followed by reduction of inter-chain disulfide bonds for the detection of the light chain, Fab portion of heavy chain (Fd) and Fc by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. This high-throughput, middle-down approach allows detection of oxidation site(s) at the resolution of 3 distinct segments. The experimental oxidation data correlates well with theoretical predictions based on the solvent-accessible surface area of the methionine side-chains within these segments. These results validate the use of upstream computational modeling to predict mAb oxidation susceptibility at the sequence level.
Keywords: Chemical liability; chemical stability; developability; forced degradation; mAbs; methionine; oxidation; solvent accessible surface area.