Bioanalysis Zone

Quantification of oligonucleotides by LC-MS/MS: the challenges of quantifying a phosphorothioate oligonucleotide and multiple metabolites


Background: LC–MS/MS allows quantification of therapeutic oligonucleotides in biological fluids at low ng/ml concentrations. Achieving selectivity between metabolites and parent molecules in a single assay is one of the biggest challenges when developing a method. We present a strategy that allows quantification of an 18-mer antisense therapeutic, trabedersen, and six metabolites in human plasma. Results/Methodology: The method utilizes phenol-chloroform and SPE with UHPLC–MS/MS to independently quantify trabedersen and the 5´n-1, 5´n-2, 5´n-3, 3´n-1, 3´n-2 and 3´n-3 metabolites in a single assay. The qualification data indicate that if the method was validated it would meet regulatory expectations for precision, accuracy and selectivity. Conclusion: We show that quantification of an oligonucleotide and multiple metabolites, including isobaric 3´ and 5´ metabolites, is achievable in a single assay through good sample clean-up and careful optimization of the LC–MS/MS parameters. The strategy presented here can be applied elsewhere and may be useful for other oligonucleotides and their metabolites.

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