Five-Stage Approach for a Systematic Screening and Development of Etravirine Amorphous Solid Dispersions by Hot-Melt Extrusion.Mol Pharm. 2020 02 03; 17(2):554-568.MP
The aim of this study was to develop a fast, effective, and material sparing screening method to design amorphous solid dispersions (ASDs) of etravirine to drive more effectively the development process, leading to improved bioavailability (BA) and stability. A systematic step-by-step approach was followed by combining theoretical calculations with high-throughput screening (HTS) and software-assisted multivariate statistical analysis. The thermodynamic miscibility and interaction of the drug in several polymers were predicted using Hansen solubility parameters (δ). The selected polymers were evaluated by HTS, using solvent evaporation. Binary compositions were evaluated by their solubilization capacity and physical stability over 2 months. JMP 14.0 was used for multivariate statistical analysis using principal components analysis. Extrusion was performed in Thermo Scientific HAAKE MiniLab II, and extrudates were characterized by assay, related substances, dissolution, and physical state (polarized light microscopy (PLM), Raman spectroscopy, and X-ray powder diffraction (XRPD)). A short stability study was performed where milled extrudates were exposed to 25 °C/60%RH and 40 °C/75%RH for 3 months. Through thermodynamic predictions, five main polymers were selected. The HTS enabled the evaluation of 42 formulations for solubilization capacity and physical stability. The three most promising compositions were selected for hot-melt extrusion (HME) tests. In general, a good correlation was found among the results of theoretical predictions, HTS, and HME. Poly(vinylpyrrolidone) (PVP)-based formulations were shown to be easily extrudable, with low degradation and complete amorphicity, whereas in Soluplus, the drug was not miscible, leading to a high crystalline content. The drug release rate was improved more than two times with PVP, and the manufactured ASD was demonstrated to be stable physically and chemically. A fast and effective screening technique to develop stable ASDs for a poorly soluble drug was successfully developed as applied to etravirine. The given method is easy to use, requires a low amount of drug, and is fairly accurate in predicting the amorphization of the drug when formulated. The success of HME formulation development of etravirine was undoubtedly enhanced with this high-throughput tool, which led to the identification of extrudates with improved biopharmaceutical properties. The structural characterization performed by PLM, XRPD, and Raman spectroscopy demonstrated that the HME prototype was essentially amorphous. The unexpected stability at 40 °C/75%RH was correlated with the presence of molecular interaction characterized by Raman spectroscopy.