Amorphous solid dispersion is a formulation technique for APIs with poor solubility in water.

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Benefits of multilayer high drug-loaded amorphous solid dispersions

Introduction on amorphous solid dispersions

What is the benefit of multilayer amorphous solid dispersions? Recently, several studies had been performed on amorphous solid dispersions working spheres or starter beads. Starter beads, such as MCC (Microcrystalline Cellulose) spheres are employed due to their high friability and chemical inertness. Some studies are even working on solventless pelletization and amorphization using high shear granulator techniques [1].

Amorphization of poorly water-soluble drugs is a promising approach to improve the solubility and dissolution rate as amorphous solids lack a crystal lattice with long-range order [2]. Unfortunately, a high chemical potential compared to crystalline forms makes amorphous forms thermodynamically unstable. Thus, amorphous drugs exhibit low physical stability and finally lack of recrystallization [3,4]. In turn, surface crystallization is to be minimized.

Multilayer amorphous solid dispersions

This is the key focus of a publication by Eline Boel and Guy Van den Mooter: They had been investigating a promising solution of multilayer high-drug load amorphous solid dispersions, as follows [5]:

Inhibiting surface crystallization is an interesting strategy to enhance the physical stability of amorphous solid dispersions (ASDs), still preserving high drug loads. The aim of this study was to investigate the potential surface crystallization inhibitory effect of an additional polymer coating onto ASDs, comprising high drug loads of a fast crystallizing drug, layered onto pellets. For this purpose, bilayer coated pellets were generated with fluid-bed coating, of which the first layer constitutes a solid dispersion of naproxen (NAP) in poly(vinylpyrrolidone-co-vinyl acetate) (PVP-VA) in a 40:60 or 35:65 (w/w) ratio, and ethyl cellulose (EC) composes the second layer. The physical stability of these double-layered pellets, in comparison to pellets with an ASD layer only, was assessed under accelerated conditions by monitoring with X-ray powder diffraction (XRPD) at regular time intervals. Bilayer coated pellets were however found to be physically less stable than pellets with an ASD layer only. Applying the supplementary EC coating layer induced crystallization and heterogeneity in the 40:60 and 35:65 (w/w) NAP-PVP-VA ASDs, respectively, attributed to the initial contact with the solvent. Caution is thus required when applying an additional coating layer on top of an ASD layer with fluid-bed coating, for instance for controlled release purposes, especially if the ASD consists of high loads of a fast crystallizing drug.

Read more on doi:10.1016/j.ijpharm.2022.122455.

How about following up studies on ASD formulation with starter beads? Simply, contact us für MCC spheres, such as CELLETS® 700 (700-1000 µm, US mesh 18/25).

Your technology and formulation partner for amorphous solid dispersions:

Glatt in amorphous solid dispersions

References

[1] K. Kondo, T. Rades, European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics 181 (2022) 183–194 doi:10.1016/j.ejpb.2022.11.011

[2] B.C. Hancock, M. Parks, Pharm. Res. 17 (2000) 397-404.

[3] L.I. Blaabjerg, E. Lindenberg, T. Rades, H. Grohganz, K. Lobmann, Int. J. Pharm. 521 (2017) 232-238.

[4] A. Singh, G. Van den Mooter, Adv. Drug Deliv. Rev. 100 (2016) 27-50.

[5] E. Boel, G. Van den Mooter, International Journal of Pharmaceutics (2022) 122455. doi:10.1016/j.ijpharm.2022.122455

 

We identified, that amorphous solid dispersions gain in importance as they increase the solubility and dissolution rate of poorly water-soluble drugs. There are severall attempts, in which each of them positive aspects and certain issues occur. It’s time, drawing amorphous solids dispersions in a more general context and sheding some more light on elementary aspects. We like to point on an excellent summary given by Thomas Rades and Keita Kondo [Rades_2022]. Before switching over, we like to emphasis and anticipate one message: The lastest attempts for amorphous solid dispersions is using CELLETS® 175 (MCC spheres) which do not only act as drug carrier, but – due to best friability – as milling balls. You might like follow this attempt with MCC starter beads, so please contact us for getting some materials. Let’s now read more from Rades et al.:

Draw-back on Amorphous solid dispersions

Amorphization is a promising approach to improve the solubility and dissolution rate of poorly water-soluble drugs as amorphous solids lack a crystal lattice with long-range order [1]. However, since amorphous forms are thermodynamically unstable due to a high chemical potential compared to crystalline forms, amorphous drugs exhibit low physical stability and finally recrystallizes [2], [3]. Thus, strategies to stabilize amorphous forms are essential in the development of amorphous products and include the design of amorphous solid dispersions (ASDs) [4], [5] and co-amorphous formulations [6], [7], [8]. ASDs are the most common approach for preparing amorphous products and involve glass formation by molecularly dispersing drug compounds into an amorphous polymer [4], [5]. However, ASD preparations may require a large quantity of polymer to stabilize amorphized drug due to their low miscibility with drug molecules [9], leading to a high bulk volume of the amorphous products. Co-amorphous systems have recently attracted attention as an alternative approach to amorphous formulations and include the formation of a single amorphous phase in which multiple low molecular weight initially crystalline materials (including drug compounds) are uniformly mixed at the molecular levels [6], [7], [8]. Co-amorphous mixtures typically exhibit high physical stability and dissolution characteristics [6], [7], [10].

Co-amorphous systems are typically classified as drug-drug combinations and drug-excipient mixtures. In the former combinations, amorphous phases comprise two drug compounds, which act as a stabilizer for each other by forming intermolecular interactions [11], [12], [13]. These formulations are expected to offer a combination of drugs to enhance the therapeutic effects but their applicability is limited as drug-drug combinations forming co-amorphous solids are not necessarily suitable for combination therapy, or require fixed doses, not necessarily suitable for co-amorphization. In the co-amorphous drug-excipient systems, low molecular-weight substances (including organic acids [14], sugars [15] and amino acids [16]) act as a co-former and their properties and mixing ratio with the drug affect dissolution characteristics and physical stability of the resulting co-amorphous mixtures [8], [10]. Recently, various combinations of drug compounds and amino acids were systematically investigated [17], [18], indicating that co-amorphous mixtures with high dissolution characteristics and physical stability can be produced by selecting amino acids that can form interactions with the target drug compounds (e.g. pairs of acidic drugs and basic amino acids). Therefore, amino acids are a promising co-former class for co-amorphous formulations.

Preparation of co-amorphous mixtures has been reported using melt quenching [13], [19], spray drying [20], [21], and ball milling [16], [22]. Since the resulting solids are in cake or powder forms (regardless of the preparation method), downstream processes including milling and granulation are usually essential to produce final dosage forms such as capsules and tablets for oral administration [23]. These processes can lead to increased risk of phase separations and crystallization due to moisture, thermal, and mechanical stresses. In ASD systems, to avoid the problems due to the downstream processes, one-step preparations of ASD granules by amorphizing drug compounds during the granulation process using fluidized bed processors [24], [25], [26], [27], [28], [29], [30] and high shear granulators [31], [32], [33], [34] have been investigated. However, to our knowledge, there are no reports on one-step preparation methods for co-amorphous granules. In the first part of the current study, we investigated the feasibility of solventless amorphization and pelletization using a high shear granulator and could obtain fully amorphized indomethacin-layered pellets by simply mixing indomethacin crystals and microcrystalline cellulose spheres without using solvent and heating. Indomethacin crystals were pulverized and amorphized due to collisions with the spheres and subsequently are deposited on the surface of the spheres. Therefore, we hypothesized that co-amorphous mixture-layered pellets can be produced through a one-step amorphization and pelletization process using this technique, as the preparation of co-amorphous mixtures has previously been performed by mechanical activation [16], [22]. Furthermore, this technique holds promise as an economical as well as sustainable approach to manufacture co-amorphous formulations as the need for solvent and/or heat is eliminated.

In previous research, various combinations of indomethacin and amino acids for co-amorphous preparations were systematically investigated. The findings suggest that arginine is an excellent co-former for indomethacin to prepare co-amorphous mixtures with fast dissolution characteristics and high physical stability [18], as an amorphous salt is formed due to strong interactions between the acidic drug indomethacin and the basic amino acid arginine [35], [36]. In the current study, to investigate whether co-amorphous layer pellets can be produced through a one-step amorphization and pelletization process, indomethacin and arginine were selected as the model drug and the co-former, respectively. In the first part of this study, indomethacin crystals were mixed with microcrystalline cellulose spheres (with various mean diameters of 140 μm, 195 μm, 275 μm, 414 μm, and 649 μm) at a weight ratio of 1:10 using a high shear granulator [added: TMG1/6, Glatt GmbH, Binzen, Germany]. Fully amorphized indomethacin-layered pellets were obtained using carriers of 414 μm in diameter, whereas partially amorphized indomethacin-layered pellets were obtained using carriers of 195 μm in diameter. This difference was likely due to the higher impact forces of larger carriers promoting mechanical activation of indomethacin crystals. In this part of the study, to clarify the effects of using arginine on the amorphization and pelletization of indomethacin, the smaller cellulose spheres of 195 μm in diameter were employed as carrier particles. Indomethacin crystals and arginine crystals were initially mixed at various molar ratios (1:1, 2:1, and 3:1), and then the resulting mixtures were high shear granulated with microcrystalline cellulose spheres at a weight ratio of 1:10. The resulting composite particles were characterized using solid-state and particle analytical techniques. To identify effective co-amorphization approaches, we examined high shear mixing under various jacket temperatures. Furthermore, physical stability and dissolution characteristics of co-amorphous layer pellets were investigated.

References

[Rades_2022] K. Kondo, T. Rades, 181 (2022) 183-194. doi:10.1016/j.ejpb.2022.11.011

[1] B.C. Hancock, M. Parks, Pharm. Res. 17 (2000) 397-404.

[2] L. Yu, Adv. Drug Deliv. Rev. 48 (2001) 27-42.

[3] L.R. Hilden, K.R. Morris, J. Pharm. Sci. 93 (2004) 3-12.

[4] T. Vasconcelos, S. Marques, J. das Neves, B. Sarmento, Adv. Drug Deliv. Rev. 100 (2016) 85-101.

[5] S. Baghel, H. Cathcart, N.J. O’Reilly, J. Pharm. Sci. 105 (2016) 2527-2544.

[6] R. Laitinen, K. Lobmann, C.J. Strachan, H. Grohganz, T. Rades, Int. J. Pharm. 453 (2013) 65-79.

[7] R.B. Chavan, R. Thipparaboina, D. Kumar, N.R. Shastri, Int. J. Pharm. 515 (2016) 403-415.

[8] S.J. Dengale, H. Grohganz, T. Rades, K. Lobmann, Adv. Drug Deliv. Rev. 100 (2016) 116-125.

[9] S. Janssens, G. Van den Mooter, J. Pharm. Pharmacol. 61 (2009) 1571-1586.

[10] R. Laitinen, K. Lobmann, H. Grohganz, P. Priemel, C.J. Strachan, T. Rades, Int. J. Pharm. 532 (2017) 1-12.

[11] S. Yamamura, H. Gotoh, Y. Sakamoto, Y. Momose, Eur. J. Pharm. Biopharm. 49 (2000) 259-265.

[12] M. Allesø, N. Chieng, S. Rehder, J. Rantanen, T. Rades, J. Aaltonen, J. Control. Release 136 (2009) 45-53.

[13] K. Lobmann, R. Laitinen, H. Grohganz, K.C. Gordon, C. Strachan, T. Rades, Mol. Pharm. 8 (2011) 1919-1928.

[14] Q. Lu, G. Zografi, Pharm. Res. 15 (1998) 1202-1206.

[15] M. Descamps, J.F. Willart, E. Dudognon, V. Caron, J. Pharm. Sci. 96 (2007) 1398-1407.

[16] K. Lobmann, H. Grohganz, R. Laitinen, C. Strachan, T. Rades, Eur. J. Pharm. Biopharm. 85 (2013) 873-881.

[17] G. Kasten, H. Grohganz, T. Rades, K. Lobmann, Eur. J. Pharm. Sci. 95 (2016) 28-35.

[18] G. Kasten, K. Lobmann, H. Grohganz, T. Rades, Int. J. Pharm. 557 (2019) 366-373.

[19] A. Teja, P.B. Musmade, A.B. Khade, S.J. Dengale, Eur. J. Pharm. Sci. 78 (2015) 234-244.

[20] A. Beyer, L. Radi, H. Grohganz, K. Lobmann, T. Rades, C.S. Leopold, Eur. J. Pharm. Biopharm. 104 (2016) 72-81.

[21] E. Lenz, K.T. Jensen, L.I. Blaabjerg, K. Knop, H. Grohganz, K. Lobmann, T. Rades,

  1. Kleinebudde, Eur. J. Pharm. Biopharm. 96 (2015) 44-52.

[22] K.T. Jensen, F.H. Larsen, C. Cornett, K. Lobmann, H. Grohganz, T. Rades, Mol. Pharm. 12 (2015) 2484-2492.

[23] B. Demuth, Z.K. Nagy, A. Balogh, T. Vigh, G. Marosi, G. Verreck, I. Van Assche, M.E. Brewster, Int. J. Pharm. 486 (2015) 268-286.

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[28] A. Dereymaker, J. Pelgrims, F. Engelen, P. Adriaensens, G. Van den Mooter, Mol. Pharm. 14 (2017) 974-983.

[29] T. Oshima, R. Sonoda, M. Ohkuma, H. Sunada, Chem. Pharm. Bull. 55 (2007) 1557-1562.

[30] H.J. Kwon, E.J. Heo, Y.H. Kim, S. Kim, Y.H. Hwang, J.M. Byun, S.H. Cheon, S.Y. Park, D.Y. Kim, K.H. Cho, H.J. Maeng, D.J. Jang, Pharmaceutics 11(3) (2019) 136.

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More information on ASD

Read more about amorphous solid dispersions in our application notes.

Cellets list of publication

Selected Scientific literature

Please, find scientific literature on CELLETS®. This list is constantly updated and does not claim to be complete. If you are author, scientist or R&D specialist, please submit your present publication to us for improving the visibility.

List

 

Research article
Solventless amorphization and pelletization using a high shear granulator. Part II; Preparation of co-amorphous mixture-layered pellets using indomethacin and arginine
European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics (2022) 181, 183-194. doi: 10.1016/j.ejpb.2022.11.011
K. Kondo, T. Rades

Research article
Solventless amorphization and pelletization using a high shear granulator. Part I; feasibility study using indomethacin
European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics (2022) 181, 147-158. doi: 10.1016/j.ejpb.2022.11.010
K. Kondo, T. Rades

Research article
Hydrodynamic behaviour of CELLETS® (Ph.Eur./USP) in a spouted bed using image processing method
Particuology (2023), 76, 101-112, doi:10.1016/j.partic.2022.07.009
J. Vanamu, A. Sahoo

Research article
Application of different models to evaluate the key factors of fluidized bed layering granulation and their influence on granule characteristics
Powder Technology (2022), 408:117737. doi: 10.1016/j.powtec.2022.117737
R. Maharjan, S. H. Jeong

Research article
Evaluation of gravitational consolidation of binary powder mixtures by modified Heckel equation
Powder Technology (2022), 408:117729. doi: 10.1016/j.powtec.2022.117729
P. Svačinová, O. Macho, Ž. Jarolímová, M. Kuentz, Ľ. Gabrišová and Z. Šklubalová

Research article
Integrated Purification and Formulation of an Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient via Agitated Bed Crystallization and Fluidized Bed Processing
Pharmaceutics (2022), 14(5)1058. doi: 10.3390/pharmaceutics14051058
M. W. Stocker, M. J. Harding, V. Todaro, A. M. Healy and S. Ferguson

Research article
Relative bioavailability enhancement of simvastatin via dry emulsion systems: comparison of spray drying and fluid bed layering technology
Eur J Pharm Biopharm (2021), S0939-6411(21)00353-2. doi: 10.1016/j.ejpb.2021.12.004
M. Pohlen, J. Aguiar Zdovc, J. Trontelj, J. Mravljak, M. G. Matjaž, I. Grabnar, T. Snoj and R. Dreu

Research article
Correlating Granule Surface Structure Morphology and Process Conditions in Fluidized Bed Layering Spray Granulation
KONA Powder and Particle Journal (2021), DOI:10.14356/kona.2022016
M. Orth, P. Kieckhefen, S. Pietsch and S. Heinrich

Research article
Measurement of hydrogen peroxide vapor in powders with potassium titanium oxide oxalate loaded cellulose pellets as probes
AAPS PharmSciTech, Volume 21(1):3, 11 Nov 2019
Maria H. Kastvig, Johan P. Bøtker, Ge Ge, Mogens L. Andersen

Research article
Wurster Fluidised Bed Coating of Microparticles: Towards Scalable Production of Oral Sustained-Release Liquid Medicines for Patients with Swallowing Difficulties
AAPS PharmSciTech, Volume 21(1):3, 11 Nov 2019
Valentyn Mohylyuk, Kavil Patel, Nathan Scott, Craig Richardson, Darragh Murnane, Fang Liu

Research article
Assessment of the effect of Cellets’ particle size on the flow in a Wurster fluid-bed coater via powder rheology
Journal of Drug Delivery Science and Technology, Volume 54, December 2019, 101320
Valentyn Mohylyuk, Ioanna Danai Styliari, Dmytryi Novykov, Reiss Pikett, Rajeev Dattani

Research article
Measuring segregation characteristics of industrially relevant granular mixtures: Part II – Experimental application and validation
Powder Technology, Volume 368, 15 May 2020, Pages 278-285
Alexander M. Fry, Vidya Vidyapati, John P. Hecht, Paul B. Umbanhowar, Julio M. Ottinoa, Richard M. Lueptow

Research article
Influence of Non-Water-Soluble Placebo Pellets of Different Sizes on the Characteristics of Orally Disintegrating Tablets Manufactured by Freeze-Drying
Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Volume 102, Issue 6, June 2013, Pages 1786-1799
Ulrike Stange, Christian Führling, Henning Gieseler

Short communication
Introduction of the energy to break an avalanche as a promising parameter for powder flowability prediction
Powder Technology, Volume 375, 20 September 2020, Pages 33-41
Žofie Trpělková, Hana Hurychová, Martin Kuentz, Barbora Vraníková, Zdenka Šklubalová

Research article
Particle electrification in an apparatus with a draft tube operating in a fast circulating dilute spout-fluid bed regime
Particuology, Volume 42, February 2019, Pages 146-153
Wojciech Ludwig

Research article
Attrition and abrasion resistance of particles coated with pre-mixed polymer coating systems
Powder Technology, Volume 230, November 2012, Pages 1-13
G. Perfetti, F. Depypere, S. Zafari, P. van Hee, W.J. Wildeboer, G. M. H. Meesters

Research article
Dry particle high coating of biopowders: An energy approach
Powder Technology, Volume 208, Issue 2, 25 March 2011, Pages 378-382
S. Otles, O. Lecoq, J. A. Dodds

Research article
Labscale fluidized bed granulator instrumented with non-invasive process monitoring devices
Chemical Engineering Journal, Volume 164, Issues 2–3, 1 November 2010, Pages 268-274
Jari T. T. Leskinen, Matti-Antero H. Okkonen, Maunu M. Toiviainen, Sami Poutiainen, Mari Tenhunen, Pekka Teppola, Reijo Lappalainen, Jarkko Ketolainen, Kristiina Järvinen

Research article
Development and evaluation of budesonide-based modified-release liquid oral dosage forms
Journal of Drug Delivery Science and Technology, Volume 54, December 2019, 101273
Federica Ronchi, Antonio Sereno, Maxime Paide, Ismaël Hennia, Pierre Sacré, George Guillaume, Vincent Stéphenne, Jonathan Goole, Karim Amighi

Research article
Water-mediated solid-state transformation of a polymorphic drug during aqueous-based drug-layer coating of pellets
International Journal of Pharmaceutics, Volume 456, Issue 1, 1 November 2013, Pages 41-48
Andres Lust, Satu Lakio, Julia Vintsevits, Jekaterina Kozlova, Peep Veski, Jyrki Heinämäki, Karin Kogermann

Research article
Two-dimensional particle shape analysis from chord measurements to increase accuracy of particle shape determination
Powder Technology, Volume 284, November 2015, Pages 25-31
D. Petrak, S. Dietrich, G. Eckardt, M. Köhler

Research article
Evaluation of in-line particle measurement with an SFT-probe as monitoring tool for process automation using a new time-based buffer approach
European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Volume 128, 1 February 2019, Pages 162-170
Theresa Reimers, Jochen Thies, Stefan Dietrich, Julian Quodbach, Miriam Pein-Hackelbusch

Research article
In-line particle size measurement and process influences on rotary fluidized bed agglomeration
Powder Technology, Volume 364, 15 March 2020, Pages 673-679
Marcel Langner, Ivonne Kitzmann, Anna-Lena Ruppert, Inken Wittich, Bertram Wolf

Research article
In vitro and sensory tests to design easy-to-swallow multi-particulate formulations
European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Volume 132, 30 April 2019, Pages 157-162
Marco Marconati, Felipe Lopez, Catherine Tuleu, Mine Orlu, Marco Ramaioli

Research article
Material specific drying kinetics in fluidized bed drying under mechanical vibration using the reaction engineering approach
Advanced Powder Technology, Volume 31, Issue 12, December 2020, Pages 4699-4713
Soeren E. Lehmann, Tobias Oesau, Alfred Jongsma, Fredrik Innings, Stefan Heinrich

Short communication
Novel production method of tracer particles for residence time measurements in gas-solid processes
Powder Technology, Volume 338, October 2018, Pages 1-6
Swantje Pietsch, Paul Kieckhefen, Michael Müller, Michael Schönherr, Frank Kleine Jäger, Stefan Heinrich

Research article
Quantitative bin flow analysis of particle discharge using X-ray radiography
Powder Technology, Volume 344, 15 February 2019, Pages 693-705
Sanket Bacchuwar, Vidya Vidyapati, Ke-ming Quan, Chen-Luh Lin, Jan D. Miller

Research article
Adjustment of triple shellac coating for precise release of bioactive substances with different physico-chemical properties in the ileocolonic region
International Journal of Pharmaceutics, Volume 564, 10 June 2019, Pages 472-484>
Eva-Maria Theismann, Julia Katharina Keppler, Jörg-Rainer Knipp, Daniela Fangmann, Esther Appel, Stanislav N. Gorb, Georg H. Waetzig, Stefan Schreiber, Matthias Laudes, Karin Schwarz

Research article
The effect of administration media on palatability and ease of swallowing of multiparticulate formulations
International Journal of Pharmaceutics, Volume 551, Issues 1–2, 15 November 2018, Pages 67-75
Felipe L. Lopez, Terry B. Ernest, Mine Orlu, CatherineTuleu

Research article
Production of composite particles using an innovative continuous dry coating process derived from extrusion
Advanced Powder Technology, Volume 28, Issue 11, November 2017, Pages 2875-2885
Fanny Cavaillès, Romain Sescousse, Alain Chamayou, Laurence Galet

Research article
Regulating the pH of bicarbonate solutions without purging gases: Application to dissolution testing of enteric coated tablets, pellets and microparticles
International Journal of Pharmaceutics, Volume 585, 30 July 2020, 119562
Nathan Scott, Kavil Patel, Tariro Sithole, Konstantina Xenofontos, Valentyn Mohylyuk, Fang Liu

Research article
Solidification of carvedilol loaded SMEDDS by swirling fluidized bed pellet coating
International Journal of Pharmaceutics, Volume 566, 20 July 2019, Pages 89-100
J. Mandić, M. Luštrik, F. Vrečer, M. Gašperlin, A. Zvonar Pobirk

Research article
In-line particle size measurement and agglomeration detection of pellet fluidized bed coating by Spatial Filter Velocimetry
Powder Technology, Volume 301, November 2016, Pages 261-267
Dimitri Wiegel, Günter Eckardt, Florian Priese, Bertram Wolf

Research article
Easy to Swallow “Instant” Jelly Formulations for Sustained Release Gliclazide Delivery
Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Volume 109, Issue 8, August 2020, Pages 2474-2484
Simmi Patel, Nathan Scott, Kavil Patel, Valentyn Mohylyuk, William J. McAuley, Fang Liu

Research article
Effect of formulation variables on oral grittiness and preferences of multiparticulate formulations in adult volunteers
European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Volume 92, 20 September 2016, Pages 156-162
Felipe L. Lopez, Alexandra Bowles, Mine Orlu Gul, David Clapham, Terry B. Ernest, Catherine Tuleu

Research article
Preparation and characterization of controlled-release doxazosin mesylate pellets using a simple drug layering-aquacoating technique
Journal of Pharmaceutical Investigation (2013), 43:333–342. doi: 10.1007/s40005-013-0077-0
H. A. Hazzah, M. A. EL-Massik, O. Y. Abdallah & H. Abdelkader

Research article
A density based segmentation method to determine the coordination number of a particulate system
Chemical Engineering Science, Volume 66, Issue 24, 15 December 2011, Pages 6385-6392
Thanh T. Nguyen, Thanh N. Tran, Tofan A. Willemsz, Henderik W. Frijlink, Tuomas Ervasti, Jarkko Ketolainen, Kees van der Voort Maarschalk

Research article
X-ray micro tomography and image analysis as complementary methods for morphological characterization and coating thickness measurement of coated particles
Advanced Powder Technology, Volume 21, Issue 6, November 2010, Pages 663-675
Giacomo Perfetti, Elke Van de Casteele, Bernd Rieger, Willem J. Wildeboer, Gabrie M.H. Meesters

Research article
Development of high drug loaded pellets by Design of Experiment and population balance model calculation
Powder Technology, Volume 241, June 2013, Pages 149-157
Florian Priese, Bertram Wolf

Research article
Quantification of swelling characteristics of pharmaceutical particles
International Journal of Pharmaceutics, Volume 590, 30 November 2020, 119903
Mithushan Soundaranathan, Pattavet Vivattanaseth, Erin Walsh, Kendal Pitt, Blair Johnston, Daniel Markl

Research article
Numerical study of the hydrodynamics of fluidized beds operated under sub-atmospheric pressure
Chemical Engineering Journal, Volume 372, 15 September 2019, Pages 1134-1153
Sayali Zarekar, Andreas Bück, Michael Jacob, Evangelos Tsotsas

Research article
Granule size distribution of tablets
Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Volume 99, Issue 4, April 2010, Pages 2061-2069
Satu Virtanen, Osmo Antikainen, Heikki Räikkönen, Jouko Yliruusi

Research article
Compressibility and tablet forming ability of bimodal granule mixtures: Experiments and DEM simulations
International Journal of Pharmaceutics, Volume 540, Issues 1–2, 5 April 2018, Pages 120-131
Josefina Nordström, Göran Alderborn, Göran Frenning

Research article
New insights into segregation during tabletting
International Journal of Pharmaceutics, Volume 397, Issues 1–2, 15 September 2010, Pages 19-26
S. Lakio, S. Siiriä, H. Räikkönen, S. Airaksinen, T. Närvänen, O. Antikainen, J.Yliruusi

Research article
Passive acoustic emission monitoring of pellet coat thickness in a fluidized bed
Powder Technology, Volume 286, December 2015, Pages 172-180
Taylor Sheahan, Lauren Briens

Research article
Attrition strength of different coated agglomerates
Chemical Engineering Science, Volume 63, Issue 5, March 2008, Pages 1361-1369
B. van Laarhoven, S.C.A. Wiers, S.H. Schaafsma, G.M.H. Meesters

Research article
A New Apparatus for Real‐Time Assessment of the Particle Size Distribution of Disintegrating Tablets
Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Volume 103, Issue 11, November 2014, Pages 3657-3665
Julian Quodbach, Peter Kleinebudde

Research article
Particle sizing measurements in pharmaceutical applications: Comparison of in-process methods versus off-line methods
European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics, Volume 85, Issue 3, Part B, November 2013, Pages 1006-1018
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Book
Formulation and Analytical Development for Low-Dose Oral Drug Products
John Wiley & Sons , inc. (2009), ISBN 978-0-470-05609-7
Jack Zheng (Editor)

 

Fig. 3: Dissolution as a function of time. Black: ASD layered pellets (FB). Red: ASD pellets from direct pelletization (SB). Blue: physical mixture.

Abstract

Amorphous solid dispersions layered pellets solve a problem of poorly water soluble drugs. Speaking about oral drug formulations, drug carrier solutions based on starter cores are suitable for several drug classes and open new opportunities for modified drug release profiles. Layering and coating techniques, such as Wurster fluid bed process at different batch sizes, are well established.

However, an increasing number of poorly water soluble drugs challenges modern formulations. A novel approach improving the solubility of those drugs is to formulate them as amorphous solid dispersions (ASD) with a suitable polymer candidate [1]. In this study, Nifedipine was used as a model drug. Nifedipine manages angina, high blood pressure, Raynaud’s phenomenon, and premature labor [2].

Formulation & techniques

ASD formulations can be performed by hot-melt extrusion or spray drying technique. Both techniques have disadvantages such that hot-melt extrusion cannot be employed for temperature-sensitive drugs [3], and spray drying needs a further compaction step not to result in fine powder with poor flowability, broad particle size distribution and high sensitivity to electrostatic charge. Therefore, a further compaction step is required to obtain a freely flowable product [4].

In this context, two techniques for the preparation of ASDs are compared: A 6”-Wurster fluid bed with Type-C bottom plate (Glatt, Germany) and spouted bed (ProCell5™ with Zig-Zag-sifter, Glatt, Germany) are used.

A: GF3™ (fluidized bed); B: ProCell5™ (spouted bed)

Fig. 1: A: 6”-Wurster fluid bed; B: ProCell5™ spouted bed.

The formulation contains the drug and a stabilizing co-polymer (Kollidon®, KVA64, BASF, Germany). Nifedipine and Kollidon are mixed resulting in a drug load of 40 % (w/w) and dissolved in Acetone (30 % w/w solid content).

Parameter FB SB
Spray rate [g/min] 20 20-35
Product temp. [°C] 50-60 50-60
Process gas temp. [°C] 65 80
Process air flow [m³/h] 180-200 65-120
Spraying nozzle diameter [mm] 1.2 1.2
Spraying pressure [bar] 2.0 0.5

Table 1: Manufacturing parameters for fluid bed (FB) and spouted bed (SB).

In the fluid bed process, microcrystalline pellets (Cellets® 500, IPC Dresden, Germany) were layered with the spraying solution such that a drug load of 21.8 % (w/w) is reached. In the spouted bed process, fine powder is generated by spray drying, further agglomeration and layering. An overview on the process parameters is given in Table 1.

Dissolution Tests

Dissolution tests were conducted in a PBS buffer at pH 6.8 and 37 °C (± 0.5 °C). A physical mixture of Nifedipine and KVA64 (40 % w/w drug load) is used as reference.

Results

In the following, results from both experiments, which are amorphous solid dispersions layered pellets (fluid bed) and ASD pellets from direct pelletization (spouted bed) are compared.

Flowability and particle size

ASD layered pellets show a better sphericity, higher level of monodispersity and better flowability properties than the ASD pellets from direct pelletization (Figure 2). Nonetheless, it has to be pointed out that both techniques result in a high particle quality for capsule filling. Analysis data is shown in Table 2.

Parameter FB SB
10 [µm] 824 ± 23 559 ± 28
D50 [µm] 943 ± 13 732 ± 50
D90 [µm] 1091 ± 11 1374 ± 410
Bulk density [g/L] 427 280
Flowability [s/100g] 12.1 16.2

Table 2: Analysis of ASD layered pellets (FB) and ASD pellets from direct compaction (SB).

SEM images of processed pellets. A: ASD layered pellets based on Cellets® (FB)

Fig. 2a: SEM images of processed pellets. A: ASD layered pellets based on Cellets® (FB)

SEM images of processed pellets. B: ASD pellets from direct palletization (SB)

Fig. 2b: SEM images of processed pellets. B: ASD pellets from direct pelletization (SB)

Dissolution profiles

Independent from the processing technique, pellets achieved an approximately factor 2 higher end concentration than the physical mixture. Pellets obtained from the fluid bed process showed a clear supersaturation phase after 1 hour and a generally higher dissolution rate than pellets obtained from the spouted bed process. Contrarily, the dissolution rate of the latter pellets approaches the supersaturation phase more continuously after 3 hours.

Fig. 3: Dissolution as a function of time. Black: ASD layered pellets (FB). Red: ASD pellets from direct pelletization (SB). Blue: physical mixture.

Fig. 3: Dissolution as a function of time. Black: ASD layered pellets (FB). Red: ASD pellets from direct pelletization (SB). Blue: physical mixture.

Summary

Both techniques, fluid bed and spouted bed as well, can be employed for manufacturing amorphous solid dispersions with good flow properties and dissolution profiles. Both techniques can be scaled up to pilot and production scale for batch or continuous manufacture of freely flowable ASDs. Cellets® serve stable and reliable cores for this venture.

Acknowledgement

We gratefully acknowledge Dr. Annette Grave and Dr. Norbert Pöllinger (Glatt Pharmaceutical Services, Germany), and Prof. Karl G. Wagner and Marius Neuwirth (University Bonn, Germany).

References

[1] T. Vasconcelos, B. Sarmento, and P. Costa, Drug Discovery Today, 12(23): 1068-1075 (2007)

[2] “Nifedipine”. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. Retrieved: Sept 17, 2019.

[3] J. Breitenbach, European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics, (54)2: 107-117 (2002)

[4] I. Weuts et al., Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, (100)1: 260-274 (2011)