Biowaiver approach for biopharmaceutics classification system class 3 compound metformin hydrochloride using in silico modeling

Publication: J Pharm Sci
Software: GastroPlus®


The dependency of metformin in vivo disposition on the rate and extent of dissolution was studied. The analysis includes the use of fundamental principles of drug input, permeability, and intestinal transit time within the framework of a compartmental absorption transit model to predict key pharmacokinetic (PK) parameters and then compare the results to clinical data. The simulations show that the maximum plasma concentration (C(max) ) and area under the curve (AUC) are not significantly affected when 100% of drug is released within 2 h of oral dosing, which was confirmed with corresponding human PK data. Furthermore, in vitro dissolution profiles measured in aqueous buffers at pH values of 1.2, 4.5, and 6.8 were slower than in vivo release profiles generated by deconvolution of metformin products that were bioequivalent. On the basis of this work, formulations of metformin that release 100% in vitro in a   time period equal to or less than two hours are indicated to be bioequivalent. The use of modeling offers a mechanistic-based approach for demonstrating acceptable bioperformance for metformin formulations without having to resort to in vivo bioequivalence studies and may be more robust than statistical comparison of in vitro release profiles. This work further provides a strategy for considering Biopharmaceutics Classification System (BCS) Class 3 compounds to be included under biowaiver guidelines as for BCS Class 1 compounds.