A New Extrudable Form of Hypromellose: AFFINISOL™ HPMC HME.AAPS PharmSciTech. 2016 Feb; 17(1):106-19.AP
Hypromellose is a hydrophilic polymer widely used in immediate- and modified-release oral pharmaceutical dosage forms. However, currently available grades of hypromellose are difficult, if not impossible, to process by hot melt extrusion (HME) because of their high glass transition temperature, high melt viscosity, and low degradation temperature. To overcome these challenges, a modified grade of hypromellose, AFFINISOL™ HPMC HME, was recently introduced. It has a significantly lower glass transition temperature and melt viscosity as compared to other available grades of hypromellose. The objective of this paper is to assess the extrudability and performance of AFFINISOL™ HPMC HME (100LV and 4M) as compared to other widely used polymers in HME, including HPMC 2910 100cP (the currently available hypromellose), Soluplus®, Kollidon® VA 64, and EUDRAGIT® E PO. Formulations containing polymer and carbamazepine (CBZ) were extruded on a co-rotating 16-mm twin-screw extruder, and the effect of temperature, screw speed, and feed rate was investigated. The performance of the solid dispersions was evaluated based on Flory-Huggins modeling and characterized by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), X-ray powder diffraction (XRD), Raman spectroscopy, Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, and dissolution. All formulations extruded well except for HPMC 2910 100cP, which resulted in over-torqueing the extruder (machine overloading because the motor cannot provide efficient energy to rotate the shaft). Among the HME extrudates, only the EUDRAGIT® E PO formulation was crystalline as confirmed by DSC, XRD, and Raman, which agreed with predictions from Flory-Huggins modeling. Dissolution testing was conducted under both sink and non-sink conditions. Sink dissolution testing in neutral media revealed that amorphous CBZ in the HME extrudates completely dissolved within 15 min, which was much more rapid than the time for complete dissolution of bulk CBZ (60 min) and EUDRAGIT® E PO solid dispersion (more than 6 h). Non-sink dissolution in acidic media testing revealed that only CBZ contained in the AFFINISOL™ HPMC HME, and EUDRAGIT® E PO solid dispersions rapidly supersaturated after 15 min, reaching a twofold drug concentration compared to the CBZ equilibrium solubility. In summary, AFFINISOL™ HPMC HME 100LV and AFFINISOL™ HPMC HME 4M are useful in the pharmaceutical HME process to increase wetting and dissolution properties of poorly water-soluble drugs like CBZ.