The use of LC/MS, GC/MS, and LC/NMR hyphenated techniques to identify a drug degradation product in pharmaceutical development.J Pharm Biomed Anal. 2006 Feb 24; 40(3):581-90.JP
Understanding drug degradation in the formulated product is critical in pharmaceutical development as it has significant impacts on drug efficacy, safety profile and storage conditions. As a result, identification of degradation compounds has taken an important role in the drug development process. In this study, various hyphenated analytical techniques, such as liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC/MS), gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC/MS), and liquid chromatography nuclear magnetic resonance with a solid phase extraction interface (LC/SPE/NMR), have been applied to the identification of a drug degradation product which grew over time in the stability study of the drug product. The target unknown is less polar and more unsaturated than the drug substance based upon reverse phase HPLC relative retention time and UV spectra. It is not ionizable by electrospray ionization (ESI) or atmospheric pressure chemical ionization (APCI) in either a positive or a negative mode. The unknown was isolated by an HPLC fraction collector and enriched by solid phase extraction. GC/MS with chemical ionization (CI) was employed to determine the molecular weight of this compound. Its fragmentation pattern was determined by CI-MS/MS using an ion trap mass spectrometer. The isolated material was also analyzed by LC/SPE/NMR, from which the structure of this compound was further characterized. The study utilizes a combination of various hyphenated analytical techniques to obtain complimentary information for structure elucidation of the unknown. The combination approach is critical for unambiguous impurity structure elucidation in drug degradation studies of pharmaceutical drug products.