February 27, 2013

Understanding Molecular Origins of Aggregation in Biotherapeutics

Sandeep Kumar

Principal Scientist Biotherapeutics Pharmaceutical Sciences
Pfizer, Inc.

Aggregation is a major hurdle to overcome during the development of biotherapeutic drug products. This talk shall provide an overview of computational efforts to understand the molecular level origins of aggregation and its consequences for biotherapeutic product development. Computational methods that can be utilized to identify potential physiochemical vulnerabilities associated with biotherapeutic drug candidates at early drug discovery and formulation stages will be presented. This will be followed by a description of our efforts to identify potentially ‘active’ aggregation prone regions in monoclonal antibodies via molecular dynamics simulations. Results will be presented as they relate to improving the manufacturability and safety of biotherapeutic drug products.

About Sandeep Kumar

Sandeep Kumar is interested in the computational aspects of protein science. He obtained his Ph.D. from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and performed postdoctoral research with Prof. Ruth Nussinov at NCI-Frederick, NIH. He has served as a Research Assistant Professor at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, DC and as an Assistant Professor at Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur in India. He was also an Associate Research Scientist at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. Sandeep joined Pfizer in 2007 and has been involved in computational modeling of biotherapeutic drug candidates. He has been working on issues related to aggregation, disulfide bond scrambling and other physico-chemical liabilities in therapeutic antibodies. Sandeep is pioneering the use of High Performance Computing in biotherapeutics development at Pfizer and has been promoting cost-saving, rational structure based strategies for design and selection of highly potent biotherapeutics with improved stability. So far, Sandeep has contributed towards 51 research papers, review articles and book chapters.