Thermodynamic Modeling of Solvent-Impact on Phase Separation in Amorphous Solid Dispersions during Drying.Mol Pharm. 2020 07 06; 17(7):2721-2733.MP
Understanding and prevention of unwanted changes of a pharmaceutical formulation during the production process is part of the critical requirements for the successful approval of a new drug product. Polymer-based formulations, so-called amorphous solid dispersions (ASDs), are often produced via solvent-based processes. In such processes, active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and polymers are first dissolved in a solvent or solvent mixture, then the solvent is evaporated, for example, via spray drying or rotary evaporation. During the drying step, unwanted liquid-liquid phase separation may occur, leading to polymer-rich and API-rich regions with crystallization potential, and thus, heterogeneities and a two-phasic system in the final ASD. Phase separation in ASDs may impact their bioperformance because of the locally higher degree of API supersaturation. Although it is known that the choice of the solvent plays an important role in the formation of heterogeneities, solvent-impact on ASD drying and eventual product quality is often neglected in the process design. This study aims to investigate for the first time the phase behavior and drying process of API/polymer/solvents systems from a thermodynamic perspective. Unwanted phase changes during the drying process of the ASD containing hydroxypropyl methylcellulose acetate succinate and naproxen prepared from acetone/water or ethanol/water solvent mixtures were predicted using the thermodynamic model PC-SAFT. The predicted phase behavior and drying curves were successfully validated by confocal Raman spectroscopy.