BCS-based biowaivers: extension to paediatrics

Joana Martir, Talia Flanagan, James Mann, Nikoletta Fotaki

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Abstract

A BCS-based biowaiver allows extrapolation of drug product bioequivalence (when applicable) based on the BCS class of the drug and in vitro dissolution testing. Drug permeability and solubility considerations for adult BCS might not apply directly to paediatric subpopulations and bridging of adult and paediatric formulations should be undertaken with caution.

The aims of this study were to: (i.) identify compounds which would change drug solubility classification in the paediatric population, and (ii.) to assess the risk of extending BCS-based biowaiver criteria into paediatric products of these compounds. Amoxicillin, prednisolone, and amlodipine were selected as the model compounds.

Dissolution studies of IR formulations of these compounds were conducted with USP II (paddle) and mini-paddle apparatus, in media of three pHs (pH 1.2, 4.5 and 6.8). Three dissolution setups were tested: (1) ‘typical’ BCS-based biowaiver conditions, (2) “BE” setup derived from BE study protocols (volume: 250 mL), and (3) “paediatric” setup based on representative volume for the paediatric population (50 mL).

Results revealed that extension of regulated BCS-based biowaiver criteria for paediatric application is not as simple as scaling down volumes. It was further shown that BCS-based biowaiver criteria should not be applied when there is the risk of change of the drug solubility class, from the adult to paediatric populations.

A deeper knowledge of the paediatric gastrointestinal environment is still lacking and would assist in refining the biopharmaceutical tools needed to appropriately evaluate formulation performance across age groups. This would potentially reduce the number of clinical studies required and speed up formulation development.
Original languageEnglish
Article number105549
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Volume155
Early online date14 Sep 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020

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