Qualitative and quantitative determination of amino acid composition using amino acid analysis (AAA) is an important quality attribute and considered an identity of therapeutic peptide drugs by the regulatory agencies. Although huge literature is available on pre- and post- column derivatization AAA methods, arriving at an appropriate hydrolysis protocol coupled with adequate separation of the derivatized/underivatized amino acids is always challenging. Towards achieving a facile and comprehensive protocol for AAA, the present work is geared towards developing a deeper understanding of the extent of hydrolysis of peptide, and the nature and stability of amino acids present in the peptide backbone. This defines the suitability of the method in meeting the end goals and the regulatory requirement. Analysis of historical data generated during the method optimization of AAA for icatibant acetate (ICT) using head space oven hydrolysis (HSOH) and microwave-assisted hydrolysis (MAH) methods helped in arriving at fast (< 1 h) and efficient hydrolysis (0.9-1.1 of theoretical residue) conditions. Better separations for the natural and unnatural amino acids were achieved using 3.45 <= pH <= 10.85, and a column oven gradient program. This approach was useful in meeting the method quality attributes [resolution (Rs) > 2.0; plate count (N) > 5600; and USP tailing factor < 1.2] with a target analytical method profile of relative amino acid mole ratios (RAAMR) in the range of 0.9-1.1 for Ser, Oic, Tic, Hyp, Ala (Thi), Gly and Pro, and between 2.7 and 3.3 for Arg. The developed method was validated as per the ICH guidelines and is precise, accurate, linear and robust.
Available from: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00726-018-2665-9