Structured solubility behaviour in bioequivalent fasted simulated intestinal fluids

Abuhassan, Qamar and Khadra, Ibrahim and Pyper, Kate and Augustijns, Patrick and Brouwers, Joachim and Halbert, Gavin W. (2022) Structured solubility behaviour in bioequivalent fasted simulated intestinal fluids. European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics, 176. pp. 108-121. ISSN 0939-6411 (

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Drug solubility in intestinal fluid is a key parameter controlling absorption after the administration of a solid oral dosage form. To measure solubility in vitro simulated intestinal fluids have been developed, but there are multiple recipes and the optimum is unknown. This situation creates difficulties during drug discovery and development research. A recent study characterised sampled fasted intestinal fluids using a multidimensional approach to derive nine bioequivalent fasted intestinal media that covered over 90% of the compositional variability. These media have been applied in this study to examine the equilibrium solubility of twenty one exemplar drugs (naproxen, indomethacin, phenytoin, zafirlukast, piroxicam, ibuprofen, mefenamic acid, furosemide, aprepitant, carvedilol, tadalafil, dipyridamole, posaconazole, atazanavir, fenofibrate, felodipine, griseofulvin, probucol, paracetamol, acyclovir and carbamazepine) to determine if consistent solubility behaviour was present. The bioequivalent media provide in the majority of cases structured solubility behaviour that is consistent with physicochemical properties and previous solubility studies. For the acidic drugs (pKa < 6.3) solubility is controlled by media pH, the profile is identical and consistent and the lowest and highest pH media identify the lowest and highest solubility in over 70% of cases. For weakly acidic (pKa > 8), basic and neutral drugs solubility is controlled by a combination of media pH and total amphiphile concentration (TAC), a consistent solubility behaviour is evident but with variation related to individual drug interactions within the media. The lowest and highest pH × TAC media identify the lowest and highest solubility in over 78% of cases. A subset of the latter category consisting of neutral and drugs non-ionised in the media pH range have been identified with a very narrow solubility range, indicating that the impact of the simulated intestinal media on their solubility is minimal. Two drugs probucol and atazanavir exhibit unusual behaviour. The study indicates that the use of two appropriate bioequivalent fasted intestinal media from the nine will identify in vitro the maximum and minimum solubility boundaries for drugs and due to the media derivation this is probably applicable in vivo. These media could be applied during discovery and development activities to provide a solubility range, which would assist placement of the drug within the BCS/DCS and rationalise drug and formulation decisions.