Login| Sign Up| Help| Contact|

Patent Searching and Data


Title:
PHARMACEUTICAL PRODUCT WITH INCREASED STABILITY COMPRISING IMMUNOGLOBULINS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2016/087569
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present invention pertains to a pharmaceutical product comprising a polyclonal immunoglobulin solution in a pre-filled polymer syringe in secondary packaging comprising an oxygen scavenger.

Inventors:
PEDRUSSIO RENZO (CH)
STYGER REGULA (CH)
Application Number:
EP2015/078482
Publication Date:
June 09, 2016
Filing Date:
December 03, 2015
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
CSL BEHRING AG (CH)
International Classes:
A61K39/395; A61M5/178; C07K1/00; C07K16/00
Domestic Patent References:
WO2014140097A12014-09-18
WO2003039632A22003-05-15
WO2012151247A22012-11-08
WO2014140095A12014-09-18
Foreign References:
FR2995213A12014-03-14
GB2471726A2011-01-12
EP2361636A12011-08-31
Other References:
GREGORY A SACHA ET AL: "7th Annual Pre-Filled Syringes Forum", 19 May 2014 (2014-05-19), XP055168850, Retrieved from the Internet [retrieved on 20150210]
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PETER, Beate et al. (Emil-von-Behring-Strasse 76, Marburg, 35041, DE)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims:

1 . A pharmaceutical product comprising an air-tight packaging comprising a polyclonal immunoglobulin solution in a pre-filled polymer syringe and an oxygen scavenger. 2. The pharmaceutical product of claim 1 , wherein the immunoglobulin solution is to be administered intravenously or subcutaneously.

3. The pharmaceutical product of claim 1 or claim 2, wherein the immunoglobulin solution comprises at least 5% (w/v) IgG.

4. The pharmaceutical product of any previous claim, wherein the immunoglobulin solution comprises IgG that is at least 95% pure.

5. The pharmaceutical product of any previous claim, wherein the immunoglobulin solution is formulated with a stabilizer.

6. The pharmaceutical product of any previous claim, wherein the polymer syringe is made of or comprises a cycloolefin copolymer, a cycloolefin polymer, or a combination thereof.

7. The pharmaceutical product of any of claims 1 to 5, wherein the polymer syringe is made of or comprises a polypropylene, a polyethylene, a polyacryl, or a polystyrene or combinations thereof. 8. The pharmaceutical product of any previous claim, wherein the interior wall of the syringe is coated prior to filling it.

9. The pharmaceutical product of any previous claim, wherein the headspace is less than 20 % of the volume of the immunoglobulin solution.

10. The pharmaceutical product of any previous claim, wherein the air-tight packaging is not transparent.

1 1 . The pharmaceutical product of any of claims 1 to 9, wherein the air-tight packaging is transparent. 12. The pharmaceutical product of any previous claim, wherein the air-tight packaging is a blister pack or a sealed pouch.

13. The pharmaceutical product of any previous claim, wherein the oxygen scavenger is iron oxide.

14. The pharmaceutical product of any previous claim, wherein the secondary packaging has been filled with inert gas.

15. The pharmaceutical product of any previous claim, wherein the immunoglobulin solution is protected from light, optionally by additional packaging.

16. The pharmaceutical product of any previous claim, wherein the syringe is suitable for insertion or attachment to a catheter, a syringe driver, a pumping device, or an autoinjector.

17. The pharmaceutical product of any previous claim, wherein the syringe is suitable for transferring the product directly or via tip-to-tip connector to the reservoir of an infusion pump or an autoinjector, to another syringe suitable for a syringe pump or syringe driver.

18. The pharmaceutical product of any one of the preceding claims, wherein a needle is attached to the syringe, having a gauge value from 20 to 30G.

19. The pharmaceutical product of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the immunoglobulin solution is stable over a period of at least 24 months, preferably at least 30 months, more preferably at least 36 months.

20. The use of a polymer syringe in air-tight packaging comprising an oxygen scavenger for long-term storage of an immunoglobulin composition.

21 . The use of claim 20, wherein the long-term storage is storage over a period of at least 24 months, preferably of at least 30 months, even more preferably at least 36 months.

22. A pharmaceutical product as defined in any one of claims 1 -19 for use in the treatment of an immunodeficiency disorder, an autoimmune disorder or a neurological disorder.

23. Use of an oxygen scavenger comprised in an air-tight packaging with a pre-filled polymer syringe comprising an immunoglobulin solution to increase the storage stability of the immunoglobulin solution.

Description:
Pharmaceutical product with increased stability comprising immunoglobulins

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Primary immunodeficiency (PID) disorders, such as common variable immunodeficiency (CVID) and X-linked agammaglobulinemia, predispose patients to recurrent infections. These patients require immunoglobulin (Ig) replacement therapy, which can be administered intravenously (IVIg) or subcutaneously (SCIg). Immunoglobulin therapy with IVIg or SCIg has also been shown to be useful in the treatment of other conditions, for example in the treatment of inflammatory and autoimmune conditions, as well as certain neurological disorders. In addition, there are other products containing polyclonal immunoglobulins enriched in certain immunoglobulin specificities, for example immunoglobulin enriched in anti-cytomegalovirus antibodies, such as Cytogam™, or immunoglobulin enriched in anti-D antibodies such as Rhophylac™, which are administered by intravenous injection, or, for Rhophylac, by intravenous or intramuscular injection.

If immunoglobulin is administered via the more common intravenous route, a sharp rise in serum immunoglobulin level is produced which declines as Ig redistributes into the extravascular space over the next 48 hours, and then falls with first-order kinetics over approximately three weeks before intravenous administration is repeated. Many patients report feeling a "wear-off-effect during the last week of the dosing interval, in particular malaise, fatigue, arthralgias, myalgias or increased susceptibility to infections.

Considering the drawbacks of intravenous Ig administration, Ig administration via the subcutaneous route has become increasingly popular in recent years. The method does not require venous access, is associated with only few systemic side effects and has been reported to improve patient's quality of life. One of the challenges in the formulation of an Ig preparation, and in particular of an Ig preparation for subcutaneous administration, lies in the fact that Ig dissolved in aqueous solution tend to aggregate and form precipitates. A further challenge is the long-term stability of Ig preparations when stored in solution.

In order to achieve a sufficient stability and avoid adverse effects on the quality of the product, Ig preparations are usually stored in glass vials that are closed with a sterile rubber stopper and a cap, e.g. an aluminium lid. In order to increase the stability of the solution, inert gassing can be applied to the vial prior to closing the vial with a rubber stopper, as disclosed in WO 201 1/104315. The product is typically withdrawn from the vial by pushing the needle of a syringe or a plastic spike through the rubber stopper and soaking the solution into the syringe barrel.

While excellent stability has been achieved with such preparations, it is desirable to further increase the stability and convenience of use of a highly concentrated Ig solution. As is well known, and has been used for therapeutic proteins including polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies for some years, the convenience can be increased by using pre-filled syringes, which eliminates the cumbersome step of drawing the solution into a syringe. For example, polyclonal IgG products Rhophylac™ and Beriglobin™ have been sold in pre-filled syringes for many years, as have monoclonal IgG products such as Enbrel™. Traditionally glass syringes were used, but the availability of a variety of suitable polymer syringes makes it very feasible to switch to polymer syringes for protein products, and the trend in the industry is towards increasing use of polymer pre-filled syringes. In WO2012022734, pre- filled syringes, including polymer syringes, are disclosed for a monoclonal antibody. WO2014041307 also discloses immunoglobulin solutions in pre-filled syringes. Stability was investigated for up to 12 months; a kit where the pre-filled syringe is sealed hermetically is included, but the use of oxygen scavengers is not contemplated.

To find a system with increased stability and increased convenience to the user, be it patient or health care professional, the inventors have investigated the stability of a highly concentrated Ig product pre-filled in polymer syringes, comprised in air-tight packaging including an oxygen scavenger. Surprisingly, the inventors have found that such a product has even superior stability than the same solution stored in glass vials, even with inert gassing being applied prior to stoppering. SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The inventors have found that Ig solutions can be stored in polymer syringes, packaged airtight with an oxygen scavenger, for at least 18 months with no adverse effect on product quality. Surprisingly, the stability of the immunoglobulin solution stored like this is even better than in glass vials with inert gassing. The polymer syringes may be ready-to-use so that no separate filling step is necessary for the patient or health care professional to transfer the solution into a syringe which is eventually used for administering the Ig preparation to the patient. Even in cases where the patient or health care professional may need to transfer the solution to a different syringe or other container that fits on a pump, the cumbersome step of drawing the solution into a syringe from a vial is eliminated, and the solution can easily and conveniently be transferred from one syringe to another via a simple connector. Therefore, the pre-filled polymer syringes provide much increased convenience to the patient. In addition, polymer syringes are safer for handling, as they are more resistant to mechanical damage.

The present invention therefore relates to the following subject matter defined in items (1 ) to (32):

(1 ) A pharmaceutical product comprising a polyclonal or monoclonal immunoglobulin solution in a pre-filled polymer syringe, comprised in air-tight packaging comprising an oxygen scavenger. Preferably the air-tight packaging is a blister pack.

(2) The pharmaceutical product of item (1 ), wherein the immunoglobulin solution is to be administered intravenously or subcutaneously.

(3) The pharmaceutical product of item (1 ) or item (2), wherein the immunoglobulin solution comprises at least 5% (w/v) IgG.

(4) The pharmaceutical product of any previous item, wherein the immunoglobulin solution comprises IgG that is at least 95% pure.

(5) The pharmaceutical product of any previous item, wherein the immunoglobulin solution is formulated with a stabilizer.

(6) The pharmaceutical product of any previous item, wherein the volume of the immunoglobulin solution in the syringe is 1 ml or more. (7) The pharmaceutical product of any previous item, wherein the polymer syringe is made of or comprises a cycloolefin copolymer, a cycloolefin polymer, or a combination thereof.

(8) The pharmaceutical product of any of items (1 ) to (6), wherein the polymer syringe is made of or comprises a polypropylene, a polyethylene, a polyacryl, or a polystyrene or combinations thereof.

(9) The pharmaceutical product of any previous item, wherein the inside of the syringe is coated prior to filling it, e.g. wherein the inside of the syringe is siliconized.

(10) The pharmaceutical product of any of items (1 ) to (8), wherein the inside of the syringe is not coated; in such a syringe, the plunger may be treated to increase its slidability inside the syringe, e.g. by coating the plunger with a material to increase its slidability such as Polytetrafluorethylene (PTFE).

(1 1 ) The pharmaceutical product of any previous item, wherein the headspace is less than 20 % of the volume of the immunoglobulin solution.

(12) The pharmaceutical product of any previous item, wherein the air-tight packaging is a blister pack or a sealed multilayer foil bag.

(13) The pharmaceutical product of any previous item, wherein the oxygen scavenger comprises a metal oxide or a polymer resin.

(14) The pharmaceutical product of any previous item, wherein the air-tight packaging has been filled with inert gas.

(15) The pharmaceutical product of any of items (1 ) to (13), wherein air-tight packaging has not been filled with inert gas.

(16) The pharmaceutical product of any previous item, wherein the immunoglobulin solution is protected from light, optionally by additional packaging.

(17) The pharmaceutical product of any previous item, wherein the syringe is suitable for insertion or attachment to a catheter, a syringe driver, any pumping device, or an autoinjector.

(18) The pharmaceutical product of any previous item, wherein the syringe has a standard luer lock.

(19) The pharmaceutical product of any previous item, wherein the syringe is suitable for transferring the product directly or via tip-to-tip connector to the reservoir of an infusion pump or an autoinjector, or to another syringe suitable for a syringe pump or syringe driver. (20) The pharmaceutical product of any one of the previous items, wherein a needle is attached to the syringe; preferably the needle is a 20 to 30 Gauge needle, more preferably a 25 to 30 Gauge needle.

(21 ) The pharmaceutical product of any one of the preceding items, wherein the immunoglobulin solution is stable over a period of at least 18 months.

(22) The pharmaceutical product of any one of the preceding items, wherein the immunoglobulin solution is stable over a period of at least 30 months, preferably at least 36 months.

(23) A kit comprising a pre-filled polymer syringe comprising a polyclonal or monoclonal immunoglobulin solution comprised in air-tight packaging comprising an oxygen scavenger; a 20 to 30 Gauge needle provided separately or inside the air-tight packaging; a mounted plunger rod or a non-mounted plunger rod (i.e. a plunger rod that can reversibly attach to the plunger in the syringe), which may be provided separately or inside the air-tight packaging. Preferably, the needle is supplied in a sterile blister pack, which may be provided within or separate from the air-tight packaging.

(24) A method of producing the product of any previous item, wherein the stopper in the syringe is applied with a positioning rod or a vacuum stoppering technique.

(25) The use of a polymer syringe in air-tight packaging including an oxygen scavenger for long-term storage of a polyclonal immunoglobulin composition.

(26) The use of a pharmaceutical product as defined in any one of items (1 )-(22) for long- term storage of a polyclonal immunoglobulin composition.

(27) The use of item (25) or (26), wherein the long-term storage is storage over a period of at least 18 months, preferably of at least 30 months, even more preferably of at least 36 months.

(28) A pharmaceutical product as defined in any one of items (1 )-(22) or a kit of item (23) for use in the treatment of an immunodeficiency disorder.

(29) The pharmaceutical product or kit for use according to item (28), wherein the immunodeficiency disorder is a primary immunodeficiency disorder.

(30) The pharmaceutical product as defined in any one of items (1 ) to (22) or the kit of item (23), for use in the treatment of an autoimmune disorder or a neurological disorder.

(31 ) The pharmaceutical product or kit for use according to item (30), wherein the autoimmune or neurological disorder is Rheumatoid arthritis, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), Antiphospholipid syndrome, immune thrombocytopenia (ITP), Kawasaki disease, Guillain Barre syndrome (GBS), multiple sclerosis (MS), chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CI DP), multifocal motor neuropathy (MMN), myasthenia gravis (MG), skin blistering diseases, scleroderma, Dermatomyositis, Polymyositis, Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease,

Alzheimer's Disease related to Downs Syndrome, cerebral amyloid angiopathy, Dementia with Lewy bodies, Fronto-temporal lobar degeneration or vascular dementia.

(32) Use of an oxygen scavenger comprised in an air-tight packaging with a pre-filled polymer syringe comprising an immunoglobulin solution to increase the storage stability of the immunoglobulin solution.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

Figure 1 : Anticomplementary activity (ACA) of a 20% IgG solution filled in 10 ml COC/COP syringes stored protected from light without blister.□ BD Sterifill SCF syringes * Terumo Plajex syringes Δ Daikyo Rezin CZ Schott TopPac ♦ Reference filling in glass vials Figure 2: ACA of a 20% IgG solution filled in 10 ml COC/COP syringes blistered with an oxygen scavenger. □ BD Sterifill SCF syringes * Terumo Plajex syringes Δ Daikyo Rezin CZ Schott TopPac ♦ Reference filling in glass vials

Figure 3: Absorbance of a 20% IgG solution filled in 10 ml COC/COP syringes stored protected from light without blister.□ BD Sterifill SCF syringes * Terumo Plajex syringes Δ Daikyo Rezin CZ Schott TopPac ♦ Reference filling in glass vials

Figure 4: Absorbance of a 20% IgG solution filled in 10 ml COC/COP syringes blistered with an oxygen scavenger. □ BD Sterifill SCF syringes * Terumo Plajex syringes Δ Daikyo Rezin CZ Schott TopPac ♦ Reference filling in glass vials DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The present invention relates to a pharmaceutical product comprising an immunoglobulin solution in a pre-filled polymer syringe, comprised in air-tight packaging including an oxygen scavenger. The pharmaceutical product may be ready-to-use, i.e. it can be directly applied to the patient without additional transfer steps or processing steps such as dilution or reconstitution. Alternatively, the immunoglobulin solution can be easily transferred from pre-filled syringe into a special syringe or container, when a special syringe or container is required for application, e.g. in a pump system.

The immunoglobulin solution

The immunoglobulin solution may contain monoclonal or polyclonal immunoglobulin(s). Preferably, the immunoglobulin(s) contained in the immunoglobulin solution are polyclonal. The immunoglobulin may be an antibody or a fragment thereof. Preferably, the Ig solution comprises IgG and/or other isotypes such IgA and IgM. In one embodiment, the immunoglobulins in the Ig solution essentially consist of IgG. In another embodiment, the immunoglobulins in the Ig solution essentially consist of IgA, or a mixture of IgA and IgM. In another embodiment, the immunoglobulins in the Ig solution may be a mixture of IgG, IgA and IgM.

The immunoglobulins can be isolated from human or animal blood or produced by other means, for instance by recombinant DNA technology or hybridoma technology. In preferred embodiments, immunoglobulins are obtained from blood plasma, typically from a pool of blood plasma from many donors. In order to obtain the immunoglobulins from plasma, the plasma is usually subjected to alcohol fractionation, which may be combined with other purification techniques like chromatography, adsorption or precipitation. However, other processes can also be used.

The solution can be formulated by methods known in the art. In the case of an IgG solution, the pH of the final preparation may be adjusted to a relatively high but acidic pH, namely in the range of about pH 4.2 to 5.4. It has been found that this pH range is particularly useful for improving the storage of characteristics of polyclonal immunoglobulin G preparations. The pH range is preferably from 4.5 to about 5.2, a pH range of about 4.6 to 5.0 being particularly preferred, pH 4.8 being especially preferred. In the case of IgA, or a combination of IgA and IgM, a more neutral pH may be preferable. In a preferred embodiment the Ig solution comprises immunoglobulins of different specificities. In another preferred embodiment, the Ig solution comprises immunoglobulins of different specificities, wherein certain immunoglobulins specific for certain antigens have been enriched relative to normal Ig preparation from healthy individuals. The Ig solution preferably comprises a stabilizer. Preferably, the Ig solution comprises one or more amino acids as stabilisers; preferably, the amino acids are selected from the group consisting of non-polar and basic amino acids. Exemplary non-polar and basic amino acids, useful for the purposes of the present invention are histidine, arginine, lysine, ornithine (basic amino acids) and isoleucine, valine, methionine, glycine and proline (non- polar amino acids). Particularly useful is proline. The stabilizer may be an amino acid of the group of non-polar or basic amino acids on its own, or it may be a combination of 2 or more such amino acids. The amino acid stabilizers may be natural amino acids, amino acid analogues, modified amino acids or amino acid equivalents. L-amino acids are preferred. When proline is used as the stabiliser, it is preferably L-proline. It is also possible to use proline equivalents, e.g. proline analogues. The amount of proline in the immunoglobulin solution preferably ranges from about 10 to about 2000 mmol/l, more preferably from about 50 to about 1000 mmol/l, even more preferably from about 100 to 500 mmol/l, and most preferably is about 250 mmol/l. Preferably, the stabilizer is present in the Ig solution at a concentration of at least 0.2 M. More preferably, the final concentration is between 0.2 M and 0.4 M, more preferably between 0.2 M and 0.3 M, most preferably 0.25 M.

The Ig solution preferably has a protein concentration of about 5 to 35% w/v, more preferably about 10 to 30% w/v, still more preferably about 15 to 30% w/v, most preferably about 18 to 25% w/v, e.g. 20% w/v. The final protein concentration will depend on various factors, such as the administration route, the type of condition to be treated, etc. The skilled person will be able to determine the optimal protein concentration for the intended application. For example, for intravenous infusion, the final preparation of the invention preferably has a protein concentration of about 5 to 15% w/v, preferably about 8 to 12% w/v, for example 5%, 6%, 7%, 8%, 9%, 10%, 1 1 %, 12%, 13%, 14% or 15%. In the case of IgG for intravenous use, 10% w/v, i.e. 100g IgG/litre is particularly useful. For subcutaneous administration a higher concentration may be chosen, for instance about 15 to 35% w/v, most preferably about 20 to 30% w/v, for example 16%, 17%, 18%, 19%, 20%, 21 %, 22%, 23%, 24%, 25%, 26%, 27%, 28%, 29% or 30%. For hyperimmune preparations, e.g. Cytogam™ or Rhophylac™, smaller concentrations may be favoured. For example, the concentration could be between 0.5 and 6%, between 1 and 5%, between 1 and 3%, for example around 1 .5%.

The IgG content in the Ig solution is preferably at least 95% (w/w), preferably at least 96% (w/w), more preferably at least 97% (w/w), more preferably at least 98% (w/w), referred to the total amount of protein in the Ig solution. For IgA solutions, the IgA content in the Ig solution is preferably at least 50% (w/w), more preferably at least 60% (w/w), even more preferably at least 70% (w/w), most preferably at least 80% (w/w). The IgA solutions may contain mostly monomeric IgA, it may contain the same ratio of monomeric to dimeric/polymeric IgA as found in plasma, or it may be enriched in dimeric IgA, and it may also comprise secretory component.

For combined IgA and IgM solutions, the IgA and IgM content is at least 50% (w/w), preferably at least 60% (w/w), more preferably at least 70% (w/w), even more preferably at least 80% (w/w), most preferably at least 90% (w/w). In such a preparation, the IgA is preferably enriched in dimeric IgA. The solution may also comprise secretory component.

The Ig solution may further comprise one or more pharmaceutically acceptable additives. Such additives can be excipients, and other substances such as non-buffering substances, for example sodium chloride, glycine, sucrose, maltose and sorbitol. Such pharmaceutical compositions may be administered via various routes. For intravenous administration, a dosage of about 0.2g, preferably 0.5g to about 2.0g of immunoglobulin/kilogram of body weight per day may be used.

In the most preferred embodiment, the Ig solution comprises Human normal immunoglobulin, wherein 1 ml of the solution contains 200 mg/ml human plasma protein, with at least 98% IgG and an IgA content of less than 0.05 mg/ml. The approximate distribution of the IgG subclasses will typically resemble about the average subclass distribution in human plasma. In a typical preparation the approximate subtype distribution is: lgG1 62-74%

lgG2 22-34%

lgG3 2-5%

lgG4 1 -3%.

In this embodiment, the solution further comprises the following excipients: L-proline, Polysorbate 80, and water for injections.

The Ig solution in the pharmaceutical product of the present invention has excellent stability. Preferably, the Ig solution shows no substantial difference to a control Ig solution which has been stored in a glass vial for the same period of time under the same conditions, with respect to the following parameters:

- Molecular size distribution, as determined by size-exclusion HPLC

- Density, determined by a digital densitometer according to EP or USP method

- pH (1 % protein solution)

- Fc Function (Human blood red cell test (complement mediated hemolysis) according to the European Pharmacopoiea (EP)).

- Prekallikrein activator (PKA), based on the determination of the kallikrein activity according to EP

- Anti-Streptolysin-0 Antibody Content: The anti-Streptolysin-0 antibody (ASL-0) content is determined by nephelometry.

- Hepatitis B Antibody titer (HBs): The test for the quantitative determination of anti-HBs is a commercially available one-step solid phase enzyme immunoassay (EIA), based on the sandwich principle.

- Protein purity The period of time assessed is preferably at least 6 months, more preferably at least 12 months, more preferably at least 18 months, more preferably at least 24 months, even more preferably at least 30 months, most preferably 36 months or longer. Preferably, at least two of the above-recited parameters are unchanged relative to the control solution, more preferably at least 3 or at least 4, or at least 5, or at least 6, or at least 7. Most preferably all of the above-recited parameters are unchanged relative to the control solution. In certain embodiments, the Ig solution in the pharmaceutical product of the present invention is superior to a control Ig solution which has been stored in a glass vial for the same period of time under the same conditions, with respect to the following parameters:

- Coloration, determined by UVA IS extinction measurement at 350/500 nm (see examples)

- Anticomplementary Activity (ACA): Anticomplementary activity is determined in a hemolysis system using sensitized sheep erythrocytes and human serum as complement source (ACA HS), see examples. For example, the absorbance of the Ig solution in the pharmaceutical product of the present invention at 350 nm may be lower than that of a control solution in a glass vial, after storage for 18, 24, 30 or even 36 months under identical conditions.

The ACA of the Ig solution in the pharmaceutical product of the present invention may be lower than that of a control solution in a glass vial, after storage for 18, 24, 30 or even 36 months under identical conditions.

The syringe

The "polymer syringe" of the present invention typically has a barrel being made of polymer material and a plunger including a sliding plug tightly contacting with the inner surface of the barrel. At one end, the barrel has a cap or an injection needle. At the opposite end, the barrel has an open end, and the plunger is inserted into the open end. The syringe may also have means for preventing undesired withdrawal of the plunger from the barrel. Such means are known to those of skill in the art.

At least the barrel is made of polymer. Preferably, also the plunger is made of polymer. The syringe may be made of different polymer materials. The polymer material of the barrel is preferably transparent.

Preferably, a plunger rod is also included, which may be supplied already attached to the plunger or may be supplied separately and can be attached to the plunger by the user, e.g. by screwing the plunger rod into the plunger. The plunger rod may be provided within the air-tight packaging or may be supplied separately. Preferably, the plunger rod is also made of polymer material, which may be the same or different from the polymer material that the barrel is made of. As used herein, the term "polymer" or "polymer material" refers to a macromolecule composed of many repeating subunits. The polymer may comprise only one type of subunit or monomer (homopolymer), or may comprise two or more different subunits (copolymer). The term denotes a synthetic or semi-synthetic polymer. Preferably, the polymer is selected from the group consisting of polyolefins, acrylic polymers, fluorinated polymers, diene polymers, vinyl copolymers, aldehyde condensation polymers, cellulosics, polyamides, polyesters, polyethers, polyimides, polysulfides, cyclic olefin polymers, and cyclic olefin copolymers.

In one embodiment, the polymer material is a polyolefin selected from the group consisting of polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene, polyvinyl chloride, polyvinylidene chloride and polyvinyl acetate.

In another embodiment, the polymer material is an acrylic polymer selected from the group consisting of polyacrylonitrile, polymethyl methacrylate, polymethyl acrylate, polyethyl acrylate and polyacrylate elastomers.

In another embodiment, the polymer material is a fluorinated polymer selected from the group consisting of polytetrafluoroethylene, fluoroelastomers, polyvinyl fluoride and polyvinylidene fluoride. In another embodiment, the polymer material is a diene polymer selected from the group consisting of polybutadiene, polychloroprene, and polyisoprene. In another embodiment, the polymer material is a vinyl copolymer selected from the group consisting of acrylonitrilebutadiene-styrene, styrene-butadiene rubber, styrene-acrylonitrile, nitrile rubber, butyl rubber, styrene-butadiene and styrene-isoprene block copolymers, ethylene-propylene copolymers and styrene-maleic anhydride copolymer. In another embodiment, the polymer material is an aldehyde condensation polymer selected from the group consisting of phenol formaldehyde, urea-formaldehyde polymers and melamine-formaldehyde polymers.

In another embodiment, the polymer material is a cellulosic polymer selected from the group consisting of rayon, cellulose nitrate and cellulose acetate.

In another embodiment, the polymer material is a polyamides selected from the group consisting of Nylon and aramids. In another embodiment, the polymer material is a polyester selected from the group consisting of polyethylene terephthalate, polybutylene terephthalate, polycarbonate, degradable polyesters, alkyds and unsaturated polyesters.

In another embodiment, the polymer material is a polyether selected from the group consisting of polyacetal, polyphenylene oxide, polyetherketone, polyetheretherketone, and aliphatic polyethers.

In another embodiment, the polymer material is a polyimide selected from the group consisting of polyamideimide and polyetherimide.

Most preferably, the polymer material is a cyclic olefin polymer (COP) or a cyclic olefin copolymer (COC). These polymers are known per se, see, e.g., lUPAC technical report, Pure Appl. Chem., Vol. 77, No. 5, pp. 801-814, 2005. The inner wall of the barrel of the syringe may be used uncoated, or may be coated, e.g. with a silicone-containing material. The silicone-containing material is preferably selected from the group consisting of polydimethyl siloxane, e.g. dimethyldiphenylpolysiloxane copolymers, dimethyl, methylphenylpolysiloxane copolymers, polymethylphenylsiloxane, and methylphenyl, dimethylsiloxane copolymers. If the inner wall of the barrel of the syringe is used uncoated, the plunger may be treated to increase its slidability, e.g. by coating it with a fluorinated polymer material such as PTFE.

The nominal volume of the syringe may range from 1 ml to 150 ml, preferably from 2 ml to 125 ml, more preferably from 3 ml to 100 ml, more preferably from 4 ml to 750 ml, or from 5 ml to 50 ml. Preferably the nominal volume of the syringe is 1 ml, 2 ml, 2.25 ml, 2.5 ml, 3 ml, 4 ml, 5 ml, 10 ml, 15 ml, 20 ml, 30 ml, 40 ml, 50 ml, 75 ml, 100 ml, 125 ml, or 150 ml.

The volume of the Ig solution within the pre-filled syringe may range from 1 ml to 120 ml, preferably from 2 ml to 100 ml, more preferably from 3 ml to 80 ml, more preferably from 4 ml to 60 ml, or from 5 ml to 50 ml. Preferably the volume of the Ig solution within the prefilled syringe is 1 ml, 2 ml, 3 ml, 4 ml, 5 ml, 10 ml, 15 ml, 20 ml, 30 ml, 40 ml, 50 ml or 100 ml. Typically there will be a headspace within the pre-filled syringe. The term "headspace" refers to a gaseous layer above the solution within the syringe. The volume of the headspace within the pre-filled syringe is typically less than 30% of the volume of the Ig solution, preferably less than 25%, more preferably less than 20%, even more preferably it is less than 15%, most preferably less than 10%, for example between 5 and 10%%. Expressed differently, the headspace in smaller syringes (5 ml or less) is typically around 2 to 3 mm of the syringe barrel, in larger syringes about 3 to 5 mm. However, the head space can be further reduced by using the vacuum stoppering technique.

In particular, the pre-filled syringe in air-tight packaging comprising an oxygen scavenger of the invention provides a good stability of an Ig preparation after a prolonged storage period of 18 or 24 months, even of 30 or even 36 months, at room temperature in the dark. When using a 20% Ig preparation as reference, the pre-filled syringe in air-tight packaging comprising an oxygen scavenger of the invention provides that the absorbance A 35 o-5oonm of the immunoglobulin solution remains below 0.15 upon storage for 24 months at 25°C in the dark, preferably the absorbance A 35 o-5oonm remains below 0.15 even after storage for 36 months. The pre-filled syringe in blister packs comprising an oxygen scavenger of the invention provides a stable immunoglobulin preparation showing an increase in A 35 o-5oonm of less than 0.1 , preferably of less than 0.08, even more preferably of less than 0.05, most preferably less than 0.02, when stored at 25°C in the dark for 36 months.

When using a 20% Ig preparation as reference, the pre-filled syringe in air-tight packaging comprising an oxygen scavenger of the invention provides that the ACA of the immunoglobulin solution remains below 25%, preferably below 20%, more preferably below 18%, upon storage for 24 months at 25°C in the dark, preferably the ACA remains below 25%, preferably below 20%, even more preferably below 15% even after storage for 36 months. The pre-filled syringe in air-tight packaging comprising an oxygen scavenger of the invention provides a stable immunoglobulin preparation showing an increase in ACA of less than 0.1 , preferably of less than 0.08, even more preferably of less than 0.05, most preferably less than 0.02, when stored at 25°C in the dark for 36 months.

The pre-filled syringe may be supplied with a needle attached, preferably a hypodermic needle. The needle can have various gauge values. The gauge value of the needle may range from 18 to 35G, preferably from 20 to 30G. The preferred gauge value of the needle will vary depending on the intended route of administration. For example, for intramuscular administration 18 to 21 G is preferred, for intravenous administration, 23 to 25G is preferred, whereas for subcutaneous administration, 25 to 30G is preferred, more preferably 25 to 29G, most preferably 27 to 29G. For intramuscular administration, 20 to 22G needles may be preferred.

Alternatively, the needle may be supplied separate from the pre-filled syringe, but supplied with the syringe as, for example, a kit. For example, the pre-filled syringe in air-tight packaging with an oxygen scavenger may be packaged with a separate needle in further packaging. The plunger rod may also be supplied detached from the plunger, as part of the kit. All components of the kit may be supplied within the air-tight packaging, or packaged separately. Secondary packaging

The pharmaceutical product of the invention comprises a secondary packaging, wherein the pre-filled syringe is within the secondary packaging. The secondary packaging is preferably a blister pack; alternatively it may be a sealed pouch. Other options for air-tight secondary packaging are also envisaged. The secondary packaging, preferably the blister pack, is preferably made of an oxygen-impermeable material, also referred to as "air-tight" herein. The term "oxygen-impermeable" or "air-tight" refers to a material that provides a barrier for oxygen, such that the oxygen transmission rate for the unformed material is lower than 5 cm 3 /m 2 per day measured according to DIN 53380 at a pressure of 1 bar, a temperature of 23°C, and relative humidity of 35%. Preferably, the oxygen transmission rate is lower than 3 cm 3 /m 2 per day, more preferably lower than 2 cm 3 /m 2 per day, even more preferably about or less than 1 cm 3 /m 2 per day. The material may be a polymer. Suitable polymers for use in the present invention include any thermoplastic homopolymer or copolymer. Examples of polymers include, but are not limited to, polyethylene terephthalate (un-oriented PET, oriented PET or PETG), polyethylene naphthalate (PEN), polyethylene naphthalate copolymers (e.g., PEN blended with PET at a ratio of about 10% to 25%), nylon, polyvinyl chloride, polyvinylidene chloride, polytetrafluroethylene, polypropylene, polystyrenes, polycarbonates, ethylene copolymers (such as ethylene-vinyl acetate, ethylene-alkyl acrylates or methacrylates, ethyleneacrylic acid or methacrylic acid, ethylene-acrylic or methacrylic acid ionomers) polyamides (such as nylon 6, nylon 66 and nylon 612) polybutylene terephthalate, polytrimethylene terephthalate, polyvinylidene dichloride, polyacrylamide, polyacrylonitrile, polyvinyl acetate, polyacrylic acid, polyvinyl methyl ether, polyethylene, polypropylene, ethylene-propylene copolymers, poly(l -hexene), poly( 4-methyl-1 pentene), poly(l -butene), poly(3-methyl-1 -butene), poly(3-phenyl-1 - propene), poly(vinylcyclohexane) and any other suitable polymer to accomplish the objectives of the present invention. Blends of different polymers may also be used. Alternatively, materials such as foils, or a combination of the above mentioned materials with a foil, e.g. aluminium foil, may be used.

The secondary packaging comprises an oxygen scavenger. The term "oxygen scavenger", as used herein, means a material or chemical compound which can remove oxygen from the interior of a closed packaging by reacting or combining with entrapped oxygen or with oxygen that is leaking into the packaging interior after the packaging has been sealed or with oxygen leaking from the Ig solution in the syringe; or which can prevent or reduce the perfusion of oxygen through the packaging materials.

The oxygen scavenger can be contained in the interior of the secondary packaging, for example it may be contained in a sachet or other porous container. Alternatively it can be incorporated in the material of the primary or the secondary packaging itself, or as a coating on the surface of the primary or secondary packaging, or combinations of any or all of the above. For example, an oxygen scavenger can be incorporated in the polymer material of the syringe, e.g. COC multilayer syringes from Mitsubishi Gas Chemical. One oxygen scavenger or a combination of two or more oxygen scavengers may be used.

Based on the chemical mechanisms of active oxygen scavengers, they can be classified into the following categories (M.L. Rooney, Active Food Packaging, Blackie Academic & Professional, 1 st Ed. 1995):

- inorganic oxygen scavengers, for example metal powder

- ascorbic acid based scavengers

- enzymatic scavengers

- polymer based oxygen scavengers

For example, oxygen-scavenging materials may comprise an oxygen-scavenging element selected from calcium, magnesium, scandium, titanium, vanadium, chromium, manganese, iron, cobalt, nickel, copper, zinc, silver, tin, aluminium, antimony, germanium, silicon, lead, cadmium, rhodium, combinations thereof and any other materials suitable for effectively scavenging oxygen during container storage when necessary, so that immunoglobulins are not adversely effected in the pharmaceutical product of the present invention.

More preferably, the oxygen-scavenging materials comprise an oxygen-scavenging element selected from, for instance, calcium, magnesium, titanium, vanadium, manganese, iron, cobalt, nickel, copper, zinc, and tin. It will be understood that these oxygen- scavenging elements may be present as mixtures, in compounds such as oxides and salts, or otherwise combined with other elements, with the proviso that the oxygen-scavenging elements are capable of reacting with molecular oxygen. Metal alloys comprising at least one oxygen-scavenging element may also be suitable. By way of illustration consistent with the present invention, an oxygen-scavenging packaging wall may be prepared by incorporating an inorganic powder and/or salt. The powder may be a reduced metal powder, such as reduced iron powder.

In one preferred embodiment of the invention, an oxygen scavenger in the package wall is combined with a transition-metal salt to catalyze the oxygen scavenging properties of the polymeric materials. Useful catalysts include those which can readily interconvert between at least two oxidation states. See Sheldon, R. A.; Kochi, J. K.; "Metal-Catalyzed Oxidations of Organic Compounds" Academic Press, New York 1981 .

Polymer based oxygen scavengers consist of high molecular, ethylenically unsaturated hydrocarbons. An activation step often enables the user to start the oxygen scavenging when desired. Polymer based oxygen absorbers are offered by Mitsubishi Gas Chemical, Chevron Phillips, Southcorp Packaging, Cryovac and Honeywell. Polymer-based scavengers are preferred in accordance with this invention.

In certain embodiments, there is gas in the headspace of the syringe. The gas may have a reduced oxygen content compared to the surrounding air. However, in the present invention, even without reducing the amount of oxygen in the headspace prior/during the filling and stoppering, the oxygen concentration dissolved in the Ig preparation will typically become lower during storage, so it will be at a concentration below 200 μηηοΙ/Ι soon after the filling process, and then be preferably below 175 μηηοΙ/Ι, more preferably below 150 μηηοΙ/Ι, even more preferably below 125 μηηοΙ/Ι, and most preferably below 100 μηηοΙ/Ι over a prolonged storage period. Yellowish coloration upon long-term storage can be thus significantly reduced when the Ig preparation is stored at room temperature.

Methods for determining the oxygen content in a gaseous phase are known to a skilled person. For example, the oxygen content can be determined by laser absorption spectroscopy, in particular tuneable diode laser absorption spectroscopy, thus eliminating interference of other components contained in the headspace gas. Specifically, the oxygen content can be determined by means of a device of the type MicroxTX3 from PreSens (Precision Sensing GmbH), whereby the oxygen is measured by fibre optic minisensors via dynamic quenching of luminescence. It is further preferred that in the gas of the air-tight packaging, the content of inert gas is more than 80 vol-%, preferably more than 84 vol-%, more preferably more than 88 vol-%, more preferably more than 90 vol-%, and most preferably more than 93 vol-% at the time of sealing the packaging. The inert gas may be e.g. nitrogen, argon, other noble gases or mixtures thereof. Given its availability, nitrogen is preferably used. This has the additional advantage that the blister is not deformed due to the oxygen binding by the scavenger. In addition, it increases the life of the scavenger. According to a preferred embodiment, the gas of the packaging is approximately at atmospheric pressure. However, it may also be advantageous to reduce the pressure in the packaging, i.e. withdraw the gas in the packaging prior to sealing.

According to a preferred embodiment, the oxygen content in the air-tight packaging when sealed under inert gassing with or without an oxygen scavenger is less than 1 % oxygen about one week after sealing, preferably less than 0.5%, even more preferably about 0.2% or less. After 12 months without an oxygen scavenger, the oxygen content in the air-tight packaging when sealed under inert gassing is less than 8% oxygen, preferably less than 6% oxygen, more preferably less than 5% oxygen, even more preferably about or less than 4% oxygen. After 12 months with an oxygen scavenger, the oxygen content in the air-tight packaging remains below 1 %, preferably below 0.5%, more preferably below 0.2%, most preferably below 0.1 % oxygen. Preferably, the same applies after 18 months, more preferably after 24 months, even more preferably after 30 months, most preferably even after 36 months or longer.

The secondary packaging may be transparent, or it may be intransparent. The term "intransparent" refers to material that limits the amount of light that it lets through. Preferably, the amount of light is reduced by at least 50%, more preferably by at least 60%, even more preferably by at least 70%, 80%, 85%, 90%, most preferably by at least 95%. In particular, it is preferred if light of wavelength 250 nm to 790 nm is reduced by at least 50%, more preferably by at least 60%, even more preferably by at least 70%, 80%, 85%, 90%, most preferably by at least 95%. However, it may be preferred to use transparent secondary packaging, as it allows a visual inspection of the product by the user without breaking the secondary packaging.

An outer packaging, e.g. tertiary packaging, may also be used. Preferably the outer packaging is non-transparent. Preferably, suitable packaging is used so that the product is protected from light.

Therapeutic Treatment

The pharmaceutical product of the invention is preferably for use in the treatment of immunodeficiency disorders, such as Primary or Secondary immunodeficiencies.

Most preferably, the disorder to be treated with the pharmaceutical product of the present invention is selected from the group consisting of congenital agammaglobulinaemia and hypogammaglobulinaemia, common variable immunodeficiency, severe combined immunodeficiency, and IgG subclass deficiencies with recurrent infections.

The treatment may further be a replacement therapy in myeloma or chronic lymphocytic leukaemia with severe secondary hypogammaglobulinaemia and recurrent infections.

The product of the invention may also be used in the treatment of autoimmune diseases and certain neurological diseases, such as Rheumatoid arthritis, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), Antiphospholipid syndrome, immune thrombocytopenia (ITP), Kawasaki disease, Guillain Barre syndrome (GBS), multiple sclerosis (MS), chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP), multifocal motor neuropathy (MMN), myasthenia gravis (MG), skin blistering diseases, scleroderma, Dermatomyositis, Polymyositis, Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease, Alzheimer's Disease related to Downs Syndrome, cerebral amyloid angiopathy, Dementia with Lewy bodies, Fronto- temporal lobar degeneration or vascular dementia.

The pharmaceutical product can be administered intravenously or subcutaneously, preferably it is administered subcutaneously. In one embodiment, the immunoglobulin solution is administered by the so-called "rapid push" technique described in the review article of R.S.Shapiro (2013, Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology 1 1 1 (1 ) 51 -56). According to said technique, a syringe and a butterfly needle is used to push SCIg under the skin as fast as the patient is comfortable with (usually 1 to 2 cc/min). Administration by said technique thus usually takes only between 5 and 20 minutes.

The dose to be administered to the patient ranges from 0.2 to 2 g/kg bodyweight, depending on the condition to be treated. The dose is typically adjusted to the patient's individual needs. The dose may need to be individualised for each patient dependent on the pharmacokinetic and clinical response and serum IgG trough levels. The following guidelines apply for immunodeficiency conditions: The dose regimen using the subcutaneous route should achieve a sustained level of IgG. A loading dose of at least 0.2 to 0.5 g/kg (1.0 to 2.5 ml/kg) body weight may be required. This may need to be divided over several days. After steady state IgG levels have been attained, maintenance doses are administered at repeated intervals to reach a cumulative monthly dose of the order of 0.4 to 0.8 g/kg (2.0 to 4.0 ml/kg) body weight.

Trough levels should be measured and assessed in conjunction with the patient's clinical response. Depending on the clinical response (e.g. infection rate), adjustment of the dose and/or the dose interval may be considered in order to aim for higher trough levels.

For the treatment of autoimmune or neurological conditions, the doses are usually higher. A trained physician will usually adjust the dose according to the patient's response to the treatment.

EXAMPLES lgPro20 (trade name Hizentra) is a 20% polyclonal IgG solution, formulated in proline (250mM) and polysorbate-80, at a pH of 4.8. It is usually provided in glass vials. In order to mitigate discoloration during storage the vials are typically gassed with nitrogen during the filling and stoppering procedures. In addition the vials are stored protected from light. Discoloration of the protein solution is the most sensitive and shelf-life limiting factor for lgPro20.

It was assessed whether lgPro20 may also be stable in COC/COP ready-to-use syringes.

COC/COP syringes have a certain permeability for gases and water vapor. For these reasons different stoppering and (secondary) packaging alternatives were tested: "traditional" stoppering with positioning tube (Setzrohr) and vacuum stoppering. Example 1 : Long term stability of lgPro20 in polymer syringes: Comparison of different syringes and different stoppering techniques.

Syringes (10ml) were obtained from four different manufacturers: Schott, Becton Dickinson, Terumo and Daikyo. The syringes were filled with lgPro20 using a peristaltic pump in a laminar flow bench. Alternatively, stoppering was performed with a semi-automatic SVP100 stoppering apparatus from Bausch+Stroebel.

After filling and stoppering, the syringes were stored protected from light without secondary packaging, or were packaged in a gas-tight aluminium multilayer foil from Swisspack. The syringes blistered in the gas-tight aluminium multilayer foil were further divided in two groups: co-packed with and without an oxygen scavenger on iron oxide basis, as alternative one group of syringes were stored with oxygen scavenger on polymer basis.

Subsequently the syringes were stored at 20°C and 37°C to assess the stability of the solution under normal and accelerated temperature. Samples were taken and analyzed after 1 , 2, 3, 6, 9, 12, 18, 24, 30 and 36 months.

All parameters were measured with standard validated methods, well known to the skilled person.

Analyzed parameters are:

Discoloration: UV/VIS Extinction Measurement at 350/500 nm: a photometric method to measure the extinction of the product to detect discoloration. The color intensity is determined by the difference in extinction between a wavelength specific to the color (350nm) and a reference wavelength (500nm). The absorbance at the reference wavelength is subtracted to compensate turbidity, non-yellow absorption and opalescence. The final result permits a conclusion about the intensity of the color.

Molecular size distribution: Size-exclusion HPLC, performed according to European Pharmacopoeia 2.2.46 "Chromatographic separation techniques", European Pharmacopoeia 2.2.30 "Size exclusion chromatography", European Pharmacopoeia 0918 "Human Normal Immunoglobulin", and European Pharmacopoeia 0255 "Human Albumin Solution".

Density: digital densitometer according to European Pharmacopoeia 2.2.5 "Relative Density" and United States Pharmacopoeia method <841 > "Specific Gravity". pJH: pH of a 1 % protein solution, according to European Pharmacopoeia 2.2.3 "Potentiometric Determination of pH", European Pharmacopoeia 0918 "Human Immunoglobulin" and European Pharmacopoeia 0255 "Human Albumin Solution".

Fc Function: Human blood red cell test (complement mediated hemolysis) according to European Pharmacopoeia 2.7.9 "Test for Fc-function in Immunoglobulin": Briefly, human red blood cells of blood group 0 are coated with rubella antigen. The immunoglobulin sample to be tested is added and the mixture is incubated. After addition of guinea pig complement, the lysis of the red blood cells is induced through complement activation by antigen-antibody complexes on the cell surface. The kinetic of haemolysis is measured photometrically as a time dependent absorption at 541 nm and compared against a reference immunoglobulin preparation that has been assessed against the BRP human normal immunoglobulin standard.

Prekallikrein activator (PKA): The test is based on the determination of the kallikrein activity according to European Pharmacopoeia 2.6.15 "Prekallikrein Activator". Prekallikrein activator (PKA) activates prekallikrein (PK) to kallikrein, which then converts H-D-prolyl-L- phenylalanyl-L-arginine-p-nitroanilidide dihydrochloride into p-nitroanilinine (pNA) through hydrolysis. The increase in p-nitroaniline is measured photometrically at 405 nm. Anticomplementary Activity (ACA): Anticomplementary activity is determined in a hemolysis system using sensitized sheep erythrocytes and human serum as complement source (ACA HS). A specific volume of immunoglobulin solution at 10 mg/ml is incubated with a specific volume of complement. The free complement is then titrated in a hemolysis system using sensitized sheep erythrocytes. The anticomplementary activity is calculated as the ratio of complement consumption to complement control consumption.

Anti-Streptolysin-0 Antibody Content: The anti-Streptolysin-0 antibody (ASL-0) content is determined by nephelometry. Briefly, polystyrene particles coated with Streptolysin-0 are agglutinated when mixed with samples containing anti-Streptolysin-0 antibodies. The beam of an infrared high performance light diode passed through a cuvette is scattered on the agglutinates. The scattered light is measured with a lens system by a photo detector.

Hepatitis B Antibody titer (HBs): The test for the quantitative determination of anti-HBs is a commercially available one-step solid phase enzyme immunoassay (EIA), based on the sandwich principle.

Other non-stability-sensitive parameters, such as aluminium content, polysorbat-80 and proline concentration, protein purity, were also determined. Results:

For the factors Molecular size distribution, Density, pH, Fc Function, PKA, Anti-Streptolysin- 0 and HBs no relevant differences between lgPro20 filled into vials or into polymer syringes (independently from their stoppering technique and secondary packaging) were detected.

The results are shown in Figures 1 to 4. No significant differences were observed between the different syringes tested in this experiment. With increasing storage time, it can be seen that the lgPro20 solution stored in reference glass vials (i.e. glass vials filled and stoppered with inert gassing) show slightly less discoloration, than the lgPro20 stored in syringes without secondary packaging, as measured by absorbance at 350nm/500nm (see Fig. 3). However, surprisingly, when the syringes were packaged in sealed secondary packaging with an oxygen scavenger, the lgPro20 showed significantly lower discoloration than in the reference glass vial (Fig. 4). Similar results were obtained for ACA. When stored in the dark without secondary packaging, over time the lgPro20 filled in syringes showed slightly higher ACA than the lgPro20 in reference glass vials (see Fig. 1 ). However, surprisingly, when stored in sealed secondary packaging with an oxygen scavenger, the lgPro20 solution in syringes showed significantly lower ACA after longer storage than lgPro20 stored in reference glass vials (see Fig. 2).

Stoppering technique: For syringes stored without secondary packaging the stoppering technique was found not to be important. No significant differences in absorbance at 350nm/500nm were observed between the samples, regardless of the stoppering technique used.

For syringes sealed in secondary packaging and stored with an oxygen scavenger the stoppering technique was also found not to be relevant. No significant differences in the absorbance at 350nm/500nm were found, regardless of the stoppering technique used.

The discoloration of lgPro20 filled into COC/COP syringes blistered without an oxygen scavenger may be slightly less pronounced by syringes stoppered using the vacuum technique, but the difference was judged not to be relevant for the product shelf-life. The stoppering technique had no influence on ACA.

Example 2: Inert gassing during packaging.

We found previously that inert gassing of glass vials during filling and stoppering had a beneficial effect on the stability of lgPro20 in glass vials (see WO 201 1/104315). Since we found that secondary packaging with an oxygen scavenger was advantageous for the storage of lgPro20 in polymer syringes, we wanted to investigate whether we could further improve storage stability by applying inert gassing during the packaging step. A series of 5ml syringes (obtained from Schott) was aseptically filled on a full-scale filling line from Optima. Stoppering occurred traditionally with positioning tube ("Setzrohr"). After visual inspection the syringes were packaged in a highly oxygen tight plastic blister (Stidpack Verpackungen) with or without inert gassing (nitrogen), with or without an oxygen scavenger. The oxygen scavengers were obtained from Standa (ATCO) and Mitsubishi Gas Chemical (Ageless).

The same parameters were tested as in Example 1 .

Results:

The positive influence of the oxygen scavenger on discoloration and ACA, and thus on the product shelf life, was confirmed. Inert gassing during blistering showed no additional beneficial effect if an oxygen scavenger was included in the packaging. However, inert gassing could still be useful to limit the amount of oxygen scavenger that is required for long term stability of the lgPro20 in polymer syringes.