A simple and robust reporter gene assay for measuring the bioactivity of anti-RANKL therapeutic antibodies
RANKL (receptor activator of nuclear factor κB ligand) plays a key role in the differentiation, activation and survival of osteoclasts. Denosumab, which targets RANKL, is approved for osteoporosis or bone loss that has a high risk for fracture and bone metastases from solid tumors. Bioactivity determination is essential for the safety and efficacy of therapeutic antibodies. At present, the mechanism of action (MOA) based bioassay for anti-RANKL monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) is the measurement of tartrate resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) activity, which takes about five days and has complex operation and relatively high variation. In this study, we developed a reporter gene assay (RGA) based on a RAW264.7 cell line stably expressing luciferase reporter under the control of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) response elements. After optimizing the key parameters, the validation results based on ICH-Q2 not only show superior specificity, precision, linearity, accuracy and passage stability, but also a short duration and simple operation. These results demonstrate the RGA based on the RANKL–RANK–NF-κB pathway can be an excellent alternative for measuring the bioactivity of anti-RANKL mAbs.