Comparative study of the potential of poly(2-ethyl-2-oxazoline) as carrier in the formulation of amorphous solid dispersions of poorly soluble drugs.Eur J Pharm Biopharm. 2019 Nov; 144:79-90.EJ
Despite the fact that solid dispersions are gaining momentum, the number of polymers that have been used as a carrier during the past 50 years is rather limited. Recently, the poly(2-alkyl-2-oxazoline) (PAOx) polymer class profiled itself as a versatile platform for a wide variety of applications in drug delivery, including their use as amorphous solid dispersion (ASD) carrier. The aim of this study was to investigate the potential of poly(2-ethyl-2-oxazoline) (PEtOx) by applying a benchmark approach with well-known, commercially available carriers (i.e. polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) K30, poly(vinylpyrrolidone-co-vinyl acetate) (PVP-VA) 64 and hydroxypropylmethylcellulose (HPMC)). For this purpose, itraconazole (ITC) and fenofibrate (FFB) were selected as poorly water-soluble model drugs. The four polymers were compared by establishing their supersaturation maintaining potential and by investigating their capability as carrier for ASDs with high drug loadings. Spray drying, as well as hot melt extrusion and cryo-milling were implemented as ASD manufacturing technologies for comparative evaluation. For each manufacturing technique, the formulations with the highest possible drug loadings were tested with respect to in vitro drug release kinetics. This study indicates that PEtOx is able to maintain supersaturation of the drugs to a similar extent as the commercially available polymers and that ASDs with comparable drug loadings can be manufactured. The results of the in vitro dissolution tests reveal that high drug release can be obtained for PEtOx formulations. Overall, proof-of-concept is provided for the potential of PEtOx for drug formulation purposes.