# Comprehensive N-Glycan Profiling of Cetuximab Biosimilar Candidate by NP-HPLC and MALDI-MS

PLOS ONE, Jan 2017

Monitoring glycosylation of the mAbs have been emphasized and routinely characterized in biopharmaceutical industries because the carbohydrate components are closely related to the safety, efficacy, and consistency of the antibodies. In this study, the comprehensive glycan profiling of a biosimilar candidate of cetuximab was successfully characterized using Normal phase high-performance liquid chromatography (NP-HPLC) in combination with Matrix assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS). The presence of minor N-linked glycans containing sialic acid lactone residues (NeuAcLac) was observed in the biosimilar for the first time, which could influence the quantitative analysis of sialylated glycans and interfere with quantification of neutral glycans when it was analyzed by high performance liquid chromatography fluorescence (HPLC-FL). To overcome this issue, mild alkali treatment was used to hydrolyze lactone of the sialic acid to their neutral formation, which had no impact on the analysis of other glycans before and after the treatment. As a result, the mild alkali treatment might be helpful to obtain quantitative glycan profiling of the mAbs drugs with enhanced accuracy and robustness.

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Sheng Liu, Wenjie Gao, Yao Wang, Zhenyu He, Xiaojun Feng, Bi-Feng Liu, Xin Liu. Comprehensive N-Glycan Profiling of Cetuximab Biosimilar Candidate by NP-HPLC and MALDI-MS, PLOS ONE, 2017, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0170013