Fully Automated 89 Zr Labeling and Purification of Antibodies

Alex J. Poot, Kevin W. A. Adamzek, Albert D. Windhorst, Maria J. W. D. Vosjan, Saskia Kropf, Hans-Jurgen Wester, Guus A. M. S. van Dongen, Danielle J. Vugts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Dozens of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) have been approved for clinical use, and hundreds more are under development. To support these developments and facilitate a personalized medicine approach, PET imaging and quantification of mAbs, after chelation with desferrioxamine B (DFO) and radiolabeling with 89Zr, has become attractive. Also, the use of 89Zr-mAbs in preclinical and clinical studies is expanding rapidly. Despite these rapid developments, 89Zr radiolabeling is still performed manually. Therefore, we aimed to develop a simple, fully automated, good-manufacturing-practice (GMP)-compliant production procedure for the 89Zr labeling of mAbs. Such procedures should increase the robustness and capacity of 89Zr-mAb production while minimizing the radiation dose to the operator. Here, the procedures for fully automated 89Zr-mAb production are described and applied to produce batches of 89Zr-DFO-N-suc-cetuximab and 89Zr-DFO-N-suc-rituximab suitable for clinical use. Both products had to meet the GMP-compliant quality standards with respect to yield, radiochemical purity, protein integrity, antigen binding, sterility, and endotoxin levels. Methods: Automated 89Zr labeling of mAbs was developed on a Scintomics GRP 2V module and comprised the following steps: reagent transfer to the 89Zr-containing reaction vial, mixing of the reagents followed by a 60-min reaction at room temperature to obtain optimal radiolabeling yields, and product purification using a PD-10 desalting column. Results: Radiochemical yields of 89Zr-DFO-N-suc-cetuximab and 89Zr-DFO-N-suc-rituximab were all more than 90% according to instant thin-layer chromatography. Isolated yields were 74.6% ± 2.0% and 62.6% ± 3.0% for 89Zr-DFO-N-suc-cetuximab and 89Zr-DFO-N-suc-rituximab, respectively, which are similar to isolated yields obtained using GMP protocols for manual 89Zr labeling of mAbs. To meet the GMP-compliant quality standards, only the radiochemically pure fractions were collected from PD-10, resulting in a lower isolated yield than the radiochemical yield according to instant thin-layer chromatography. The radiochemical purity and protein integrity were more than 95% for both products, and the antigen binding was 95.6% ± 0.6% and 87.1% ± 2.2% for 89Zr-DFO-N-suc-cetuximab and 89Zr-DFO-N-suc-rituximab, respectively. The products were sterile, and the endotoxin levels were within acceptable limits, allowing future clinical production using this procedure. Conclusion: Procedures for fully automated GMP-compliant production of 89Zr-mAbs were developed on a commercially available synthesis module, which also allows the GMP production of other radiolabeled mAbs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)691-695
JournalJournal of nuclear medicine : official publication, Society of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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