HCP Assay by commercial ELISA

  • Determine the total HCP quantity in a sample
  • Optimize your HCP ELISA protocol
  • Validate the ELISA's coverage of your drug and process

Measure HCP level with generic or process-specific ELISA antibodies

Host cells used for recombinant protein expression, such as CHO, E. coli and HEK 293, contain thousands of proteins (HCPs) that contaminate the purified protein. An HCP assay using an ELISA kit enable fast assessment of the HCP amount. It is suitable for both process samples and the final biopharmaceutical product.

HCP impurities may affect drug s...

Measure HCP level with generic or process-specific ELISA antibodies

Host cells used for recombinant protein expression, such as CHO, E. coli and HEK 293, contain thousands of proteins (HCPs) that contaminate the purified protein. An HCP assay using an ELISA kit enable fast assessment of the HCP amount. It is suitable for both process samples and the final biopharmaceutical product.

HCP impurities may affect drug safety and they are crucial to remove from your biologic at an early stage. As stated in USP 39 (US Pharmacopeia Chapter 39, 2016) “HCPs should be reduced to low levels”.

A wide range of commercial HCP assay kits are available. We offer to analyze your samples by any of them, e.g. HEK 293, CHO, E. coli, etc. We can also optimize the ELISA protocol to your samples – and provide validation for your process by HCP ELISA coverage analysis.

Choose from our HCP assay services:

Option 1: ELISA HCP analysis of your samples

  • We use either a commercial kit (e.g. HEK 293 or CHO) or process specific ELISA antibodies.
  • You get an analysis of your process samples or final product.
  • Receive a report with the ELISA HCP concentration by email.

Option 2: Optimize and validate ELISA by HCP coverage analysis

We can use any commercially available ELISA kit or your process-specific antibodies.

  • First, we optimize the ELISA antibody-HCP binding
  • Next, the HCPs are immunocaptured with the ELISA antibodies
  • Then, the total and affinity purified HCPs are identified by SWATH mass spectrometry
  • Finally, you get a report with the HCP coverage percentage and a list of immunocaptured and total HCPs

Send us a request and we will adjust the analysis to meet your specific needs.

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The process:

  • 1 Contact us to discuss your project and receive a project proposal
  • 2 Analysis phase lead by Alphalyse-appointed principal investigator
  • 3 Report w. total HCP quantity or list of HCPs recognized by ELISA
  • 4 Follow up by phone or email

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We offer customized solutions, contact us to discuss your project.

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    Testimonials

    • "Using the Alphalyse LC-MS/MS coverage method in HCP ELISA selection, we estimate a savings of approximately $1M and, likely, one year of development time"

      SAVARA Aps, Horsholm, Denmark Lars Skriver, Senior Science Officer

    • "The most sensitive, yet robust, Host Cell Protein analysis we’ve seen"

      Analyses of key protein features, stability and impurity levels

      See more

    Knowledge center

    More information

    We would like to help you as much as possible with your project and therefore provide several kinds of customer support:

    Technical details

    Introduction to ELISA

    Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) is an immunoassay that detects the presence of a specific ligand. The ligand is often a protein, which is then recognized by the assay’s antibodies. By developing a kit of antibodies from a specific ligand pool, it is possible to quickly assess the presence and approximate amount of target proteins.

    Therefore, the HCP assay using ELISA is common in biopharmaceutical development and quality control – and the industry standard to perform HCP analysis of biopharmaceuticals, such as therapeutic proteins, recombinant peptides, vaccines, monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), antibody-drug-conjugates (ADCs), biosimilars and gene therapy products.

    Sandwich ELISA for host cell protein analysis

    Steps of a sandwich ELISA: 1) We coat Anti-HCP capture antibodies to ELISA plate. 2) HCP antigens are added to wells and bind to corresponding antibodies. 3) Detection antibodies are added and bind to antigens. 4) Enzyme conjugate is added and bind to detection antibodies. 5) Finally, substrate is added and colorimetric analysis is done to estimate total HCP concentration.

    Despite their widespread use, sandwich ELISAs rely on antibody specificity and rarely cover all HCP species in a process step or final product. It is thus essential to validate all ELISA antibodies before using them for Host Cell Protein detection. For this purpose, a HCP ELISA coverage analysis is performed, e.g. by ELISA-MS.

    Alphalyse services

    Our setup is suitable for all HCP ELISAs, including those targeting the expression systems:

    • Mammalian: CHO, HEK 293, HeLa, NS0, SP2/0
    • Bacterial: E. coliL. lactisP. fluorescens, S. aureus
    • Yeast: S. cerevisiae, P. pastoris

    As well as for individual process reagents, such as human serum albumin (HSA), bovine serum albumin (BSA) and Protein A. Moreover, we are highly experienced in working with commercial/generic, process-specific and platform assays from common HCP kit manufacturers like Cygnus (HEK 293), Rockland, Biogenes, etc.

    Sample preparation

    An HCP assay requires both ELISA antibodies and a mock cell lysate or early process sample.

    1. Antibodies

      1. The ELISA optimization and immunocapture analysis requires typically a minimum of 100 ug of antibodies.
      2. The samples should not contain large amounts of detergents
      3. The concentration should be >0.5 µg/µl
      4. Use Eppendorf Safe Lock tubes or similar high-quality tubes from your lab
      5. Freeze or refrigerate to +4 oC for cold shipment of the liquid sample
    2. MOCK/early process sample

      1. The mock/early process sample requires typically a minimum of 100 µg of protein material
      2. The samples should not contain large amounts of detergents
      3. The concentration should be >0.5 µg/µl
      4. Use Eppendorf Safe Lock tubes or similar high-quality tubes from your lab
      5. Freeze or refrigerate to +4 oC for cold shipment of the liquid sample

    Please contact us for more specific sample requirements before shipment.

    Meet the experts

    For this type of analysis our experts include:

    Do you need help?
    Katrine Pilely

    PhD in Biomedicine and BSc in Biology

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    Do you need help?
    Solveig Beck Nielsen

    PhD in Molecular Biology

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    Do you need help?
    Flemming Holm Bergholt

    Biomedical Laboratory Scientist

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