Novel Biopharmaceutical Development Investigations Towards Drug and Formulation Performance Optimization

  • Author / Creator
    Amaral Silva, Daniela
  • For a drug to excerpt pharmacological action after oral intake, it first needs to be released from the formulation, get into solution (dissolve), be absorbed, and reach the systemic circulation. Since only solubilized drugs can be absorbed, and thus have therapeutic effect, the understanding of the dissolution and drug release processes of a drug product is of primary importance. Such understanding allows a robust formulation development with an ideal in vivo performance.
    In order to meet set standards, the performance assessment of oral drug products, such as dissolution testing, often applies conditions that are not reflective of the in vivo environment. The use of non-physiologically relevant dissolution method during the drug product development phase can be misleading and give poor mechanistic understanding of the in vivo dissolution process. Hence, we hypothesized that applying physiologically relevant conditions to the dissolution test would result in more accurate in vivo predictability for a robust and precise development process.
    Since the buffering system in the intestinal lumen operates at low molarity values, phosphate buffer at low buffer capacity was used as a first approach to an in vivo relevant parameter. Furthermore, a biphasic system was used, that is, the low buffer capacity medium was paired with an organic layer (n-octanol) to mimic the concurrent drug absorption that happens with the in vivo dissolution. Both poorly and highly soluble drugs in immediate release formulations (ibuprofen and metronidazole, respectively) were tested in this set-up to assess the dissolution in the aqueous medium and the partitioning to the organic phase.
    Additionally, enteric coated formulations were tested in bicarbonate buffer at the in vivo reported molarities values to assess the impact of buffer species on drug dissolution. The
    evaluated parameters were the buffer system (bicarbonate buffer vs. phosphate buffer), buffer capacity and medium pH. In all approaches, dissolution was also carried out in compendial buffer for comparison purposes.
    Our results demonstrate that the USP-recommended dissolution method greatly lacked discriminatory power, whereas low buffer capacity media discriminated between manufacturing methods. The use of an absorptive phase in the biphasic dissolution test assisted in controlling the medium pH due to the drug removal from the aqueous medium. Hence, the applied non- compendial methods were more discriminative to drug formulation differences and manufacturing methods than conventional dissolution conditions. In this study, it was demonstrated how biphasic dissolution and a low buffer capacity can be used to assess drug product performance differences. This can be a valuable approach during the early stages of drug product development for investigating drug release with improved physiological relevance.
    Similarly, all the enteric coated formulations displayed a fast release in phosphate buffer and complied with the compendial performance specifications. On the other hand, they all had a much slower drug release in bicarbonate buffer and failed the USP acceptance criteria. Also, the nature of the drug (acid vs base) impacted the dissolution behavior in bicarbonate buffer. This study indicates that compendial dissolution test for enteric coated tablets lacks physiological relevance and it needs to be reevaluated. Thus, an in vivo relevant performance method for EC products is needed.
    Overall, the findings of this thesis comprehensively demonstrates that meaningful differences in performance and accordance to clinical reports were only obtained when physiological relevant conditions were applied. Hence, our results indicate that the central hypothesis was answered positively.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2021
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.