Several factor VIII products, recombinant and natural, have been used for hemophilia A treatment worldwide. Typically, two activity-based assays (factor Xase and aPTT) are used for the assessment of factor VIII concentration in these products. Frequently, the results are dependent upon the assay and its modifications in different laboratories. In this study, we evaluated five pharmacologic factor VIII products (three lots of each) in three activity-based assays and in two immunoassays for the concentration and activity of factor VIII protein. Two factor VIII products were plasma-derived (Immunate and Hemofil M) and three were recombinant; two of these contained full-length factor VIII (Recombinate and Kogenate) and one was B-domainless (ReFacto). Albumin-free full-length recombinant factor VIII was used as a standard in all assays. In the factor Xase assay, all recombinant factor VIII products and Immunate at 1U/ml (indicated by manufacturer) showed activity similar to that of 0.7nM (1U/ml) standard, whereas activity of Hemofil M was 64–68% of the standard. In the aPTT assay both full-length recombinant products and Hemofil M displayed activity similar to the standard, whereas Immunate had increased (142% of standard) and ReFacto decreased (83% of standard) activity. In synthetic plasma, all three recombinant products had standard-like activity, whereas Hemofil M and Immunate were slightly more active than standard. The ELISA immunoassay revealed that the factor VIII protein content in Recombinate, Kogenate and Hemofil M corresponded to the units assigned by manufacturers (1.4–1.6x1012U/mol vs1.4x1012U/mol calculated for standard), whereas the specific activity of Immunate was 50% of that expected (0.7x1012U/mol). In contrast, the specific activity of ReFacto was almost 3-fold that of full-length factor VIII (4.0x1012U/mol). The data of this study indicate that: 1) factor VIII activity estimated in different assays gives dissimilar results; 2) the specific activity of factor VIII in various factor VIII products is different and, as a consequence, administration of an equal factor VIII activity in U/ml means the administration of different amounts of factor VIII protein.

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