Stabilisation of recombinant human basic fibroblast growth factor (FGF-2) against stressors encountered in medicinal product processing and evaluation

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Abstract

Basic fibroblast growth factor (FGF-2) is a highly labile protein with strong potential for tissue engineering. The aim of this study was to develop FGF-2 formulations that are stable against physical stressors encountered in pharmaceutical processing and evaluation. Pharmaceutical excipients, alone or in combination, were added to aqueous FGF-2 (770 ng/mL) solution and the stability of the resulting solutions on storage at 4–37 C was evaluated. Stability of the solutions to repeated freeze-thaw cycles and lyophilisation was also evaluated, as well as the stability of the lyophilised stabilised protein to storage at −4, 4 and 18 C for up to 12 months. In all of these experiments FGF-2 was quantified by ELISA assay. The as-received FGF-2, when dissolved in water, was highly unstable, retaining only 50% of baseline protein content after 30 min at 37 C or 1 h at 25 C. By contrast, FGF-2 solutions prepared with 0.5% w/v methylcellulose (MC) and 20 mM alanine (formulation F5) or with 0.5% w/v MC and 1 mg/mL human serum albumin (HSA) (formulation F6) were highly stable, having residual FGF-2 content comparable to baseline levels even after 2 h at 37 C and 5 h at 25 C. F5 and F6 were also highly stable to repeated freeze-thaw cycles, with >99% of FGF-2 load remaining after the third cycle. In addition, F5 and F6 were stable to lyophilisation, and the lyophilised products could be stored at −4, 4 or 18 C for at least 12 months, with less than 1% loss in mean FGF-2 content. Thus, FGF-2 solution is effectively stabilised against both thermal and processing stressors in the presence of MC and alanine (F5), or MC and HSA (F6). The resultant FGF-2 solutions may be applied as medicinal products or further processed into more advanced medicinal products, e.g., scaffolds, for wound healing and tissue regeneration.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1762
JournalPharmaceutics
Volume13
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021

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