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  • Fatty acid profiles are crucial for the functionality and viability of lactobacilli used in food applications. Tween 80™, a common culture media additive, is known to influence bacterial growth and composition. This study investigated how Tween 80™ supplementation impacts the fatty acid profiles of six mesophilic lactobacilli strains ( spp., spp., ). Analysis of eleven strains revealed 29 distinct fatty acids. Tween 80™ supplementation significantly altered their fatty acid composition. Notably, there was a shift towards saturated fatty acids and changes within the unsaturated fatty acid profile. While some unsaturated fatty acids decreased, there was a concurrent rise in cyclic derivatives like lactobacillic acid (derived from vaccenic acid) and dihydrosterculic acid (derived from oleic acid). This suggests that despite the presence of Tween 80™ as an oleic acid source, lactobacilli prioritize the synthesis of these cyclic derivatives from precursor unsaturated fatty acids. Myristic acid and dihydrosterculic acid levels varied across strains. Interestingly, palmitic acid content increased, potentially reflecting enhanced incorporation of oleic acid from Tween 80™ into membranes. Conversely, cis-vaccenic acid levels consistently decreased across all strains. The observed fatty acid profiles differed from previous studies, likely due to a combination of factors including strain-specific variations and growth condition differences (media type, temperature, harvesting point). However, this study highlights the consistent impact of Tween 80™ on the fatty acid composition of lactobacilli, regardless of these variations. In conclusion, Tween 80™ significantly alters fatty acid profiles, influencing saturation levels and specific fatty acid proportions. This work reveals key factors, including stimulated synthesis of lactobacillic acid, competition for oleic acid incorporation, and strain-specific responses to myristic and dihydrosterculic acids. The consistent reduction in cis-vaccenic acid and the presence of cyclic derivatives warrant further investigation to elucidate their roles in response to Tween 80™ supplementation.

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  • Adequate stabilization is essential for marketed protein-based biopharmaceutical formulations to withstand the various stresses that can be exerted during the pre- and post-manufacturing processes. Therefore, a suitable choice of excipient is a significant step in the manufacturing of such delicate products. Histidine, an essential amino acid, has been extensively used in protein-based biopharmaceutical formulations. The physicochemical properties of histidine are unique among amino acids and could afford multifaceted benefits to protein-based biopharmaceutical formulations. With a pKa of approximately 6.0 at the side chain, histidine has been primarily used as a buffering agent, especially for pH 5.5-6.5. Additionally, histidine exhibited several affirmative properties similar to those of carbohydrates (e.g., sucrose and trehalose) and could therefore be considered to be an alternative approach to established protein-based formulation strategies. The current review describes the general physicochemical properties of histidine, lists all commercial histidine-containing protein-based biopharmaceutical products, and discusses a brief outline of the existing research focused on the versatile applications of histidine, which can act as a buffering agent, stabilizer, cryo/lyo-protectant, antioxidant, viscosity reducer, and solubilizing agent. The interaction between histidine and proteins in protein-based biopharmaceutical formulations, such as the Donnan effect during diafiltration of monoclonal antibody solutions and the degradation of polysorbates in histidine buffer, has also been discussed. As the first review of histidine in protein biopharmaceuticals, it helps to deepen our understanding of the opportunities and challenges associated with histidine as an excipient for protein-based biopharmaceutical formulations.

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  • The hydrolysis of polysorbate surfactants in large molecule drug product formulations caused by residual host cell proteins presents numerous stability concerns for pharmaceuticals. The fatty acids (FA) released by polysorbate hydrolysis can nucleate into particulates or challenge the conformational stability of the proteinaceous active pharmaceutical ingredient (API). The loss of intact polysorbate may also leave the Drug Product (DP) vulnerable to interfacial stresses. Polysorbate 20 and 80 are available in several different quality grades (Multi-compendial, Super Refined, Pure Lauric Acid (PLA)/Pure Oleic Acid (POA)). All variations of polysorbate as well as three alternative surfactants: Brij L23, Brij O20 and Poloxamer 188 were compared for their ability to protect against air-water interfacial stresses as well as their risk for developing particulates when in the presence of lipoprotein lipase (LPL) (Pseudomonas). Results show a meaningful difference in the timing and morphology of FA particle formation depending on the type of polysorbate used. All grades of polysorbate, while susceptible to hydrolysis, still offered sufficient protection to interfacial stresses, even when hydrolyzed to concentrations as low as 0.005% (w/v). Alternative surfactants that lack an ester bond were resistant to lipase degradation and showed good protection against shaking stress.

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  • Some glycoside drugs can be transported through intestinal glucose transporters (IGTs). The surfactants used in oral drug preparations can affect the function of transporter proteins. This study aimed to investigate the effect of commonly used surfactants, Poloxamer 188 and Tween 80, on the drug transport capacity of IGTs. Previous studies have shown that gastrodin is the optimal drug substrate for IGTs. Gastrodin was used as a probe drug to evaluate the effect of these two surfactants on intestinal absorption in SD rats through pharmacokinetic and in situ single-pass intestinal perfusion. Then, the effects of the two surfactants on the expression of glucose transporters and tight-junction proteins were examined using RT-PCR and western blotting. Additionally, the effect of surfactants on intestinal permeability was evaluated through hematoxylin-eosin staining. The results found that all experimental for Poloxamer 188 (0.5%, 2.0% and 8.0%) and Tween 80 (0.1% and 2.0%) were not significantly different from those of the blank group. However, the AUC of gastrodin increased by approximately 32% when 0.5% Tween 80 was used. The changes in IGT expression correlated with the intestinal absorption of gastrodin. A significant increase in the expression of IGTs was observed at 0.5% Tween 80. In conclusion, Poloxamer 188 had minimal effect on the drug transport capacity of IGTs within the recommended limits of use. However, the expression of IGTs increased in response to 0.5% Tween 80, which significantly enhanced the drug transport capacity of IGTs. However, 0.1% and 2.0% Tween 80 had no significant effect.

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  • The aim of this study was to develop eye-drops with cefuroxime (CEF) sodium or vancomycin (VAN) hydrochloride, antibiotics that are instable in water. Anhydrous self-emulsifying oils (SEO) are proposed as a carrier and antibiotics are suspended. In the contact with tear fluid, the formulation should transform into emulsion, with fast dissolution of an antibiotic. CEF or VAN (5% w/w) was suspended in SEO carriers prepared by dissolving surfactants (Tween 20 or Span 80 5% w/w) in Miglyol, castor oil, or olive oil. Formulations with or without sodium citrate (2% w/w) were compared. Six-months or 1-year stability tests were carried out at 40 °C. The content of CEF and VAN was evaluated using HPLC and the potency of the antibiotic was assessed with agar diffusion method. In contact with water, drug particles suspended in SEO dissolved rapidly and o/w emulsion was formed. After 1-year at 40 °C, the content of degradation products was at most 0.5% in CEF and 4.0% in VAN formulations. The agar diffusion assay has shown that CEF and VAN loaded into SEO retained its potency against the sensitive microorganisms comparable to an aqueous solution. Therefore, SEO can be used as a novel carrier for the active substances which may not require improved solubility or absorption but need to be protected from moisture. This is a formulation that can be produced on industrial scale, with no limitation of stability or drug concentration.

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  • Monoclonal antibodies (mAb) and other biological drugs are affected by enzymatic polysorbate (PS) degradation that reduces product stability and jeopardizes the supply of innovative medicines. PS represents a critical surfactant stabilizing the active pharmaceutical ingredients, which are produced by recombinant Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell lines. While the list of potential PS-degrading CHO host cell proteins (HCPs) has grown over the years, tangible data on industrially relevant HCPs are still scarce. By means of a highly sensitive liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry method, we investigated seven different mAb products, resulting in the identification of 12 potentially PS-degrading hydrolases, including the strongly PS-degrading lipoprotein lipase (LPL). Using an LPL knockout CHO host cell line, we were able to stably overexpress and purify the remaining candidate hydrolases through orthogonal affinity chromatography methods, enabling their detailed functional characterization. Applying a PS degradation assay, we found nine mostly secreted, PS-active hydrolases with varying hydrolytic activity. All active hydrolases showed a serine-histidine-aspartate/glutamate catalytical triad. Further, we subjected the active hydrolases to pH-screenings and revealed a diverse range of activity optima, which can facilitate the identification of residual hydrolases during bioprocess development. Ultimately, we compiled our dataset in a risk matrix identifying PAF-AH, LIPA, PPT1, and LPLA2 as highly critical hydrolases based on their cellular expression, detection in purified antibodies, active secretion, and PS degradation activity. With this work, we pave the way toward a comprehensive functional characterization of PS-degrading hydrolases and provide a basis for a future reduction of PS degradation in biopharmaceutical drug products.

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  • We applied computing-as-a-service to the unattended system-agnostic miscibility prediction of the pharmaceutical surfactants, Vitamin E TPGS and Tween 80, with Copovidone VA64 polymer at temperature relevant for the pharmaceutical hot melt extrusion process. The computations were performed in lieu of running exhaustive hot melt extrusion experiments to identify surfactant-polymer miscibility limits. The computing scheme involved a massively parallelized architecture for molecular dynamics and free energy perturbation from which binodal, spinodal, and mechanical mixture critical points were detected on molar Gibbs free energy profiles at 180 °C. We established tight agreement between the computed stability (miscibility) limits of 9.0 and 10.0 wt% vs. the experimental 7 and 9 wt% for the Vitamin E TPGS and Tween 80 systems, respectively, and identified different destabilizing mechanisms applicable to each system. This paradigm supports that computational stability prediction may serve as a physically meaningful, resource-efficient, and operationally sensible digital twin to experimental screening tests of pharmaceutical systems. This approach is also relevant to amorphous solid dispersion drug delivery systems, as it can identify critical stability points of active pharmaceutical ingredient/excipient mixtures.

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  • Polysorbates are among the most used surfactants in biopharmaceutical products containing proteins. Our work aims to develop a high-throughput fluorometric assay to further diversify the analytical toolbox for quantification of PSs.

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  • Most monoclonal antibody formulations require the presence of a surfactant, such as polysorbate, to ensure protein stability. The presence of high concentrations of polysorbate have been shown to enhance photooxidation of certain protein drug products when exposed to visible light. The current literature, however, suggest that photooxidation of polysorbate only occurs when exposed to visible light in combination with UVA light. This is probable as peroxides present in polysorbate solutions can be cleaved homolytically in the UVA region. In the visible region, photooxidation is not expected to occur as cleavage of peroxides is not expected at these wavelengths. This report presents findings suggesting that the presence of one or more photosensitiser(s) in polysorbate must be a cause and is required to catalyse the aerobic oxidation of polysorbate solutions upon exposure to visible light. Our investigation aimed to clarify the mechanism(s) of polysorbate photooxidation and explore the kinetics and the identity of the generated radicals and their impact on monoclonal antibody (mAb) degradation. Our study reveals that when polysorbate solutions are exposed to visible light between 400---800 nm in the absence of proteins, discoloration, radical formation, and oxygen depletion occur. We discuss the initial formation of reactive species, most likely occurring directly after reaction of molecular oxygen, with the presence of a triplet state photosensitizer, which is generated by intersystem crossing of the excited singlet state, leading predominantly to the formation of reactive species such as singlet oxygen species. When comparing the photooxidation of PS20 and PS80 in varying quality grades, we propose that singlet oxygen possesses potential for reacting with unsaturated fatty acids in PS80HP, however, PS20HP itself exhibited no measurable oxidation under the tested conditions. The study's final part delves into the photooxidation behaviour of different PS grades, examining its influence on the integrity of a mAb in the formulation. Finally, we examined the effect of photooxidation on the integrity of monoclonal antibodies. Our findings show that the exposure to visible light in polysorbate-containing mAb solutions at high PS concentrations of 4 mg∙ml results in increased monoclonal antibody degradation, highlighting the need for cautious evaluation of the correct PS concentration to stabilise protein therapeutics.

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  • An effective vaccine is required to end the HIV pandemic. We evaluated the safety and immunogenicity of a DNA (DNA-HIV-PT123) vaccine with low- or high-dose bivalent (TV1.C and 1086.C glycoprotein 120) subtype C envelope protein combinations, adjuvanted with MF59 or AS01B.

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