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Lu Liu, David A. Ammar, Lindsey A. Ross, Naresh Mandava, Malik Y. Kahook, John F. Carpenter; Silicone Oil Microdroplets and Protein Aggregates in Repackaged Bevacizumab and Ranibizumab: Effects of Long-term Storage and Product Mishandling. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(2):1023-1034. doi: 10.1167/iovs.10-6431.
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To quantify levels of subvisible particles and protein aggregates in repackaged bevacizumab obtained from compounding pharmacies, as well as in samples of bevacizumab and ranibizumab tested in controlled laboratory experiments.
Repackaged bevacizumab was purchased from four external compounding pharmacies. For controlled laboratory studies, bevacizumab and placebo were drawn into plastic syringes and incubated at −20°C, 4°C, and room temperature (with and without exposure to light) for 12 weeks. In addition, mechanical shock occurring during shipping was mimicked with syringes containing bevacizumab. Particle counts and size distributions were quantified by particle characterization technology. Levels of monomer and soluble aggregates of bevacizumab were determined with size-exclusion high-performance liquid chromatography (SE-HPLC).
Repackaged bevacizumab from the compounding pharmacies had a wide range of particle counts (89,006 ± 56,406 to 602,062 ± 18,349/mL). Bevacizumab sampled directly from the original glass vial had particle counts of 63,839 ± 349/mL. There was up to a 10% monomer loss in the repackaged bevacizumab. Laboratory samples of repackaged bevacizumab and placebo had initial particle counts, respectively, of 283,675 ± 60,494/mL and 492,314 ± 389,361/mL. Freeze-thawing of both bevacizumab and placebo samples led to >1.2 million particles/mL. In all repackaged samples, most of the particles were due to silicone oil. SE-HPLC showed no significant differences for repackaged samples incubated in the laboratory under various conditions, compared with bevacizumab directly from vial. However, repeated freeze-thawing caused a more than 10% monomer loss.
Bevacizumab repackaged in plastic syringes could contain protein aggregates and is contaminated by silicone oil microdroplets. Freeze-thawing or other mishandling can further increase levels of particle contaminants.
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