Biopharmaceutical understanding of excipient variability on drug apparent solubility based on drug physicochemical properties. Case study: Hypromellose (HPMC)

Panagiota Zarmpi, Talia Flanagan, Elizabeth Meehan, James Mann, Nikoletta Fotaki

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Identification of the biopharmaceutical risks of excipients and excipient variability on oral drug performance can be beneficial for the development of robust oral drug formulations. The current study investigated the impact of Hypromellose (HPMC) presence and varying viscosity type, when used as a binder in immediate release formulations, on the apparent solubility of drugs with wide range of physicochemical properties (drug ionization, drug lipophilicity, drug aqueous solubility). The role of physiological conditions on the impact of excipients on drug apparent solubility was assessed with the use of pharmacopoeia (compendial) and biorelevant media. Presence of HPMC affected drug solubility according to the physicochemical properties of studied compounds. The possible combined effects of polymer adsorption (drug shielding effect) or the formation of a polymeric viscous layer around drug particles may have retarded drug dissolution leading to reduced apparent solubility of highly soluble and/or highly ionized compounds and were pronounced mainly at early time points. Increase in the apparent solubility of poorly soluble low ionized drugs containing a neutral amine group was observed which may relate to enhanced drug solubilization or reduced drug precipitation. The use of multivariate data analysis confirmed the importance of drug physicochemical properties on the impact of excipients on drug apparent solubility and revealed that changes in HPMC material properties or amount may not be critical for oral drug performance when HPMC is used as a binder. The construction of a roadmap combining drug, excipient, and medium characteristics allowed the identification of the cases where HPMC presence may present risks in oral drug performance and bioavailability.

Original languageEnglish
Article number49
JournalAAPS Journal
Early online date18 Feb 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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