Prediction uncertainty assessment of chromatography models using Bayesian inference

  • A Bayesian approach can be used for model calibration and quality assessment.
  • The approach enables a prediction-based model uncertainty assessment.
  • Mechanistic models can perform reliable extrapolations despite substantial parameter uncertainty.
  • A sole parameter uncertainty assessment is insufficient for evaluating model quality.
Monoclonal antibody in blue setting

Mechanistic modeling of chromatography has been around in academia for decades and has gained increased support in pharmaceutical companies in recent years. Despite the large number of published successful applications, process development in the pharmaceutical industry today still does not fully benefit from a systematic mechanistic model-based approach. The hesitation on the part of industry to systematically apply mechanistic models can often be attributed to the absence of a general approach for determining if a model is qualified to support decision making in process development.

In this work a Bayesian framework for the calibration and quality assessment of mechanistic chromatography models is introduced. Bayesian Markov Chain Monte Carlo is used to assess parameter uncertainty by generating samples from the parameter posterior distribution. Once the parameter posterior distribution has been estimated, it can be used to propagate the parameter uncertainty to model predictions, allowing a prediction-based uncertainty assessment of the model. The benefit of this uncertainty assessment is demonstrated using the example of a mechanistic model describing the separation of an antibody from its impurities on a strong cation exchanger. The mechanistic model was calibrated at moderate column load density and used to make extrapolations at high load conditions. Using the Bayesian framework, it could be shown that despite significant parameter uncertainty, the model can extrapolate beyond observed process conditions with high accuracy and is qualified to support process development.

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