The quantification of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) such as bevacizumab, a recombinant humanized immunoglobulin G1 (hIgG1), in biological fluids, is an essential prerequisite to any pharmacokinetic preclinical and clinical study. To date, reference techniques used to quantify mAbs rely on enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) lacking specificity. Furthermore, the commercially available ELISA kit to quantify bevacizumab in human plasma only assesses the free fraction of the drug. However, the conditions of storage and analysis of plasma samples could alter the physiological equilibrium between the free, bound and partially bound forms of bevacizumab and this could result in over- or underestimation of drug concentration. We developed a new assay for absolute quantification of total fraction of bevacizumab by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) basing identification and quantification of bevacizumab on two specific peptides. In this report we compare our assay with two internal standard (IS) calibration approaches: one using a different human mAb (Trastuzumab) and the other using a stable isotope labeled specific peptide. After enrichment by affinity chromatography on protein A and concentration by ultrafiltration, human plasma samples were proteolyzed by trypsin. Linearity was established from 12.5 to 500μg/mL with an interday accuracy ranging from 101.7 to 110.6% and precision from 7.0% to 9.9%. This study demonstrates the importance of the choice of the IS in quantifying bevacizumab in human plasma and highlights the difficulty of reaching a reliable proteolysis with a sufficient recovery. We developed a reliable and cost-effective LC-MS/MS method to quantify total plasmatic fraction of bevacizumab in human plasma. Through our development we proposed a generic methodology easily transposable to quantify all IgG1 subclass very useful for clinical pharmacokinetics studies.

Legeron, R. Xureb, F. Chaignepain, S. Gadeau, A.P. Claverol, S. Dupuy, J.W. Djabarouti, S. Couffinhal, T. Schmitter, J.M. Breilh, D.

J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci.