Advanced formulation and processing technologies in the oral delivery of poorly water-soluble drugs
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With the advance of combinational chemistry and high throughput screening, an increasing number of pharmacologically active compounds have been discovered and developed. A significant proportion of those drug candidates are poorly water-soluble, thereby exhibiting limited absorption profiles after oral administration. Therefore, advanced formulation and processing technologies are demanded in order to overcome the biopharmaceutical limits of poorly water-soluble drugs. A number of pharmaceutical technologies have been investigated to address the solubility issue, such as particle size reduction, salt formation, lipid-based formulation, and solubilization. Within the scope of this dissertation, two of the pharmaceutical technologies were investigated names thin film freezing and hot-melt extrusion. The overall goal of the research was to improve the oral bioavailability of poorly water-soluble drugs by producing amorphous solid dispersion systems with enhanced wetting, dissolution, and supersaturation properties. In Chapter 1, the pharmaceutical applications of hot-melt extrusion technology was reviewed. The formulation and process development of hot-melt extrusion was discussed. In Chapter 2, we investigated the use of thin film freezing technology combined with template emulsion system to improve the dissolution and wetting properties of itraconazole (ITZ). The effects of formulation variables (i.e., the selection of polymeric excipients and surfactants) and process variables (i.e., template emulsion system versus cosolvent system) were studied. The physic-chemical properties and dissolution properties of thin film freezing compositions were characterized extensively. In Chapter 3 and Chapter 4, we investigated hot-melt extrusion technology for producing amorphous solid dispersion systems and improving the dissolution and absorption of ITZ. Formulation variables (i.e., the selection of hydrophilic additives, the selection of polymeric carriers) and process variables (i.e., the screw configuration of hot-melt extrusion systems) were investigated in order to optimize the performance of ITZ amorphous solid dispersions. The effects of formulation and process variables on the properties of hot-melt extrusion compositions were investigated. In vivo studies revealed that the oral administration of advanced ITZ amorphous solid dispersion formulations rendered enhanced oral bioavailability of the drug in the rat model. Results indicated that novel formulation and processing technologies are viable approaches for enhancing the oral absorption of poorly water-soluble drugs.